Wortmann's total turnover increased by 15.1 percent to €832.1 million in the financial year ended last May 31. It was the highest growth rate in the German company's history, and Wortmann marked this achievement by paying an extra month of wages to its employees.

With sales of 29.8 million pairs in the fashion sector and 34.1 million pairs in the standard range, Wortmann claims to be the largest manufacturer, distributor and retailer of footwear in Europe. Including its Novi Footwear subsidiary in Asia, it currently has 978 employees, up from 868 a year ago, and 549 are stationed in Europe.

Sales outside Germany have reached 52.7 percent of the total turnover, up from 51.8 percent in the previous year. Wortmann says all its export markets are moving toward double-digit growth rates. The biggest increases are being recorded in Russia, the Benelux and France. Novi is scoring a single-digit increase.

Much of the growth is due to the increasing success of Tamaris, which is moving forward fast with its store franchising concept, while diversifying the product range. It has become the biggest brand within the group.

There are now 519 Tamaris franchises, 45 percent more than a year ago, and 35 percent cent are outside Germany. The total count includes 164 free-standing mono-label stores and 355 shop-in-shops. Another 19 stores and 26 shop-in-shops are in the pipeline.

Looking ahead, Wortmann says it again expects a double-digit sales increase for the first half of its current financial year, covering the fall/winter 2011/12 season. It says the first available figures for the spring/summer 2012 collection, which has been on sale since last July, are encouraging.