Vulcabras Azaleia, the Brazilian parent of Azaleia and Olympikus that held the distribution rights for Reebok until the end of last year, has reported a net profit of 19.7 million reais (€5.36m-$5.71m) for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with only R$2 million in the year-ago period.

Sales increased by 15 percent to R$363 million (€98.8m-$105.2m) for the group during the quarter. Vulcabras said that its Azaleia brand of women's shoes gained market share in Brazil with its return to the shelves of many stores. The company also cited an expansion of Olympikus' distribution network, a deeper penetration of the retail stores and a well-received collection.

The gross margin of the group improved by 6.3 percentage points to 36.3 percent in the quarter, as compared to a year ago, continuing the progress made earlier this year. In the first nine months of 2016, Vulcabras reached a gross margin of 33.7 percent. Sales grew by 13.2 percent and net earnings jumped by 157.1 percent, excluding the company's discontinued operations in Argentina.

Meanwhile, a local report quotes Reebok's new Brazilian brand manager, Julian Slaguiro, as predicting a 10 percent sales increase for the brand in the country in its first year under the Adidas Group's full control.

Targeting a broader consumer base, it plans to source 10 percent of its apparel and footwear products locally next year, much like Alpargatas is now doing for Mizuno (see the related story in this issue) because of the low level of the Brazilian real and the Brazilian anti-dumping duties on shoes coming from China.

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