A survey by Germany’s new Institut für Marktdaten showed that a Portuguese company, Aco, was one of the top performers on the German market in terms of sell-out and based on other criteria. Specialized in women’s comfort shoes with the California construction and selling them mainly in the Germanic countries and in Scandinavia, the 30-year-old company competes with the likes of Rieker, Rohde and ECCO. It claims to be the largest manufacturer in Portugal, with a daily production of 12,000 pairs, but it’s mostly an assembly operation. Aco began to subcontract cutting and stitching in the Northeastern part of Brazil, using its own components and using daily flights from there to Portugal. Its sandals have been made in Cape Verde for many years. Aco es have been growing at about 5 percent a year, approaching €40 million annually.