The Wortmann Group reached a consolidated turnover of €464.1 million in the financial year ended last May 31, up from €454.6 million in the previous year. Because of the strength of the euro, Novi Footwear Fareast Ltd, the group’s joint venture in Hong Kong/Singapore, contributed only a 2.1 percent sales increase in terms of euros. Excluding the effects of foreign exchange rates, the group’s growth in local currencies reached 7.5 percent.

In spite of the tough market situation in Germany, domestic sales rose faster than export revenues for Wortmann’s European companies. Their combined export share dropped from 42.6 to 42.0 percent. The group is anticipating a very positive sales trend for the current financial year, as the Fall season is ahead of target and orders for next Spring are very encouraging. Orders for the Caprice line have increased in Germany following a shift to an exclusive sales force and higher service levels also for the Wendel line.

Wortmann spent €11 million on investments during the period, which was slightly lower than the previous year. The group intends to continue strengthening its position in Europe through sustained high investments in advertising and marketing, and innovative launches such as the “Antishokk” and “On Air” products.

The German-based group, which specializes in women’s footwear, says it sold 16 million pairs of shoes in the fashion segment and 40 million pairs in the inexpensive standard segment in the past year. Present in 10 locations in Europe and at 12 in the Far East, the group employs 600 people and has 27,000 contract workers.