Related PUMA AG has reported worldwide brand sales growth of 3.4% to reach a total of €2.7 billion after currency adjustments. Footwear sales rose 1.9% on a comparable basis to € 1,478 million, with apparel up 5.7% to just short of €1 billion and accessories up 3.7% to € 262 million.In 2007 the company expanded its own retail operations, with 25 PUMA Concept stores opened worldwide in the year. For 2008, earnings before interest and taxation is expected to increase. Operating margin, however, is expected to fall previous years, due to investments in major sports events and related marketing expenses in tandem with further expansion of the company’s own retail activities.www.puma.com
FRANCE: Testing of the first Alstom Coradia Liner inter-city electro-diesel multiple unit has begun on the Paris Est – Troyes – Belfort line.SNCF awarded Alstom a €346m contract in October 2013 covering the supply 34 six-car Coradia Liner multiple-units to replace locomotive-hauled stock on trains d’équilibre du territoire inter-city services on the conventional network which cannot be operated throughout by electric traction. Alstom’s Cordia Liner V200 is based on its Régiolis family of regional multiple-units for France, but has a more comfortable interior designed for longer distance travel. It can operate at up to 160 km/h under 25 kV 50 Hz or 1·5 kV DC electrification, or powered by roof-mounted 350 kW MAN diesel engines. The first six of 19 units for the Paris – Belfort route are now expected to enter passenger service in mid-2017. Other routes which SNCF expects to operate with Coradia Liner units include Nantes – Bordeaux.