Despite Lower Dollar Brazilian Shoemaker Wants to Export More

Melissa sandal from Brazilian Grendene Grendene, a shoe company from Brazil, has expanded the volume of its exports by 41.7% in the first quarter of this year. The company shipped 18.6 million pairs of shoes abroad between January and March this year against 13.2 million in the same period last year.

Shipments grew by 5.4 million pairs early this year. Among the buyers were ten Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine and Qatar.

Bulk revenues with exports totaled 90.4 million Brazilian reais, against 75 million reais in the same period last year. The increase was 20.4%. In dollar terms, the growth was 46.3%, from US$ 35.6 million to US$ 52.1 million.

Despite the increase in revenues, there was a reduction in the price of the footwear exported: 15.1% in dollars. In reais, there was a 3% increase. The company informs that the foreign market sustained revenues. Grendene had gross revenues of 328 million reais from January to March, 0.6% more than in the same months in 2007.

Exports compensated a company reduction in revenues on the Brazilian market. Grendene went from gross revenues of 251 million reais (US$ 151 million), from January to March 2007, to 238.2 million reais (US$ 143.5 million) accumulated this year up to March. The reduction was 5.3%.

There was growth in volumes sold, 5.1% to 19.5 million pairs, but there was a reduction in average price, 9.9%. The performance on the domestic market was lower than expected.

For this reason, Grendene plans to continue investing in exports. Despite the lower prices, as advantages to exports Grendene mentions the use of spare capacity and the consolidation of the company position on the foreign market.

"The company does not plan to reduce export efforts," stated the company in its quarterly results. In a company press statement, the organization said that expansion of foreign sales took place due to its segmentation strategy, constant innovation and also aggressive marketing.

The performance abroad was positively surprising for the company, according to information published in the quarterly balance sheet. Grendene plans to maintain the selective market positioning and distribution of the Melissa sandal brand.

"We can currently state that Melissa is a Brazilian fashion brand with more consistent distribution on the foreign market," stated Grendene. The company has already established partnerships with Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid for the creation of some new models and should do the same again.

The factory was established in 1971, in the city of Farroupilha, in Rio Grande do Sul. Grendene is currently the largest Brazilian company in the shoe sector, in terms of production volume. It is also, according to information in the company site, a main producer of sandals in the world.



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