UPDATE 1-Puma launches 100 mln euro share buyback programme

(Adds detail on shares in final paragraph, detail on results in fourth)

Feb 29 (Reuters) - German sports apparel company Puma plans to return up to 50% of its net income to shareholders, it said on Thursday

The company will now return between 25-40% of the Group's net income in dividends, up from 25-35%, the statement said.

The first tranche of a share buyback programme will begin in March 2024 and end on May 6 2025, the statement added, with Puma expecting to buy back and then cancel 100 million euros' ($108.43 million) worth of shares.

Puma warned of challenging market conditions in results on Tuesday, with sportswear companies having to convince cash-strapped consumers to buy trainers and tracksuits.

The firm's shares have lagged peers Adidas and Nike in the past fourteen months, weighed down by weaker sales than its competitors. ($1 = 0.9223 euros) (Reporting by Louis van Boxel-Woolf Editing by Miranda Murray, Editing by Madeline Chambers)