In terms of euros, Brantano’s total sales grew by 4.2 percent to €156.3 million for the six months ended June 30. The difference is due to the fact that the revenues of its UK operations increased by 11.4 percent in euros to €75.9 million, taking more clearly the lead over its Belgian operations, but by only 9.4 percent in pounds sterling. Sales in Belgium actually dropped slightly to €68.4 million because of the closure of three shops and because a fire damaged two others. On a same-store basis, sales rose by 0.4 percent in Belgium and by a healthy 4.7 percent in the UK.

In Holland, the turnover fell by 9 percent to €8 million with 11 fewer shops, but for the 39 remaining units sales were up by 3.7 percent in spite of a decline in the country’s footwear market. Sales in Denmark dropped by 9.1 percent to €4.0 million, with a 10.3 percent decrease on a comparable basis, due to aggressive promotion in the 1st quarter.

The first few weeks of the summer season were better than last year in Belgium but didn’t come up to expectations because of poor weather. The management maintains its sales forecast of €305-310 million for the full year. The Belgian-based shoe retailing group now has a total of 313 stores. Most of the expansion is focusing on the UK, where Brantano intends to open ten stores this year.