Alpargatas reported revenues from the United States and exports to markets outside Europe, Argentina and its home market of Brazil, increased 31.4 percent to $25.1 million in the third quarter as its Havaianas sandals brand grew a toehold in the U.S. market.
The Brazilian footwear manufacturer and distributor said Havaianas export sales continued to propel its overall growth in the quarter ended Sept. 30. Sales by Alpargatas Argentina, Alpargatas Europe, Alpargatas USA and exports jointly accounted for 30.0 percent of net revenues in the quarter.
Unit sales by Alpargatas USA and sandal exports to markets outside Europe and Argentina increased 34.5 percent to 6.16 million pairs in the third quarter compared with the third quarter of 2013.
Alpargatas attributed the growth in the United States to better exposure gained during the opening of the Havaianas store in New York’s Times Square as well as the brand’s first-time attendance at several U.S. trade shows.
Alpargatas consolidated net revenues reached R$865.0 million ($381 mm), up 5.1 percent in currency neutral terms. Gross margin declined 330 basis points (bps) to 37.7 percent, while EBITDA inched up 0.4 percent to $R105.1 million ($20.3 mm) or 11.6 percent of sales, down 50 bps from a year earlier.
In Brazil, unit volume was up 13.6 percent from a year earlier driven primarily by Havaianas sandals, Dupé rubber flip flops and apparel sales. At Sports Footwear, which consists of its owned Rainha athletic and Topper soccer brands as well as Mizuno athletic shoes and Timberland outdoor and casual shoes, sales reached 2.75 million pairs, up 3.0 percent from the second quarter, but down 3.0 percent from a year earlier.
Unit sales of Mizuno footwear grew 15.0 percent over the second quarter and 6.5 percent over the third quarter of 2013, while Timberland unit sales grew 24.8 percent compared with the second quarter of 2014 and 28.7 percent compared with the year earlier quarter. Sales of Rainha and Topper footwear declined in both periods as Brazilian retailers cleared stock acquired ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
Overall sales of Sporting Goods, including footwear, apparel, accessories and Sete Léguas rubber boots, declined 3.0 percent from the third quarter of 2013 and 2.4 percent for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2014.
Alpargatas ended the quarter with 85 owned and 393 franchised stores, including 366 Havaianas and 17 Timberland stores. Same-store sales at Timberland stores declined 7.5 percent from the third quarter of 2013 due primarily to lower traffic during the last days of the World Cup in July. Additionally, in 2013 coat and jacket sales were very high.