Leder & Schuh, the parent company of the Humanic, Corti, Dominici, Jello, Shoe 4 You and Top Schuh chains, raised its total sales by 6.5 percent to €318.4 million, although the number of its stores remained at 274 after several openings and an equal number of closures. The proportion of revenues generated outside Austria grew from 30 to 32 percent, thanks mainly to strong expansion into Germany.

The group claims the leadership in the Austrian footwear market, with a share of 21 percent. According to independent research, the Austrian shoe market dropped by 1.6 percent in 2003 in real terms, following a steep declined of 4.7 percent in the previous year. The German footwear market declined, too, as indicated elsewhere in this issue. Leder & Schuh says it became the #1 shoe retailer in Slovakia last year – a position it already has also in Hungary and the Czech Republic. It’s also one of the top 10 shoe retailers in Germany.

Leder & Schuh continued to expand in Slovenia successfully. The opening of a very big Humanic store in the Seiersberg shopping center near Graz had a positive effect throughout the region. In Germany, among other moves, new Humanic stores were opened in Regensburg, Kempten and Viernheim. The total number of employees within the group increased to 2,600 from 2,497 in the course of the year.