Laying out its final figures for the period, the Wortmann Group has reported a 9.5 percent increase in consolidated turnover for the financial year on May 31, reaching €684.8 million. The group’s sales outside Germany rose to 47.7 percent of the total, compared with a 46.1 percent in the previous year.

The sales figures included those of its European-based fashion operations, which cover brands such as Tamaris, Wendel, Caprice, S.Oliver and Comma, and those of Wortmann’s Asian-based sourcing operation, Novi Footwear. In total the group delivered more than 21 million pairs in the fashion segment and 40 million in the basic category.

Sales in Germany grew at a strong rate of 13.4 percent despite low levels of consumer spending. Wortmann mentions in particular the success of its patented “Antishokk” and “On Air” soles, as well as its increasingly popular Tamaris store franchising program. The company’s costly marketing strategies have seen a return as a survey at the end 2006 showed that 36 percent of the general public knew the brand. The brand’s product range has been reorganized into new product lines for the Spring/Summer 2008 season. They are called “Tamaris,” “Tamaris Trend” and “Tamaris Active.”

The number of Tamaris stand-alone stores and shop-in-shops is growing rapidly in Europe – 54 are currently operational and 27 more will be opened by the end of the year. This form of retail outlet is most popular in Germany but franchisees in other countries such as Britain, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Russia will also adopt the banner.

The group’s worldwide staff grew from 680 to more than 730 employees in the past year, and its investments rose to €13.9 million, somewhat more than in previous years.