The parent company of Havaianas and other brands recorded 16.2 percent higher sales of 1,376.2 million reais (€519.5m-$682.9m) in the first half of 2012, but its profit margins went down for the whole period as well as for the second quarter. For the six months, the gross margin was off by 2.4 percentage points to 43.7 percent and the Ebitda margin (operating earnings before amortization) was down by 4.5 percentage points to 13.1 percent. With a result of R$139.6 million (€52.7m-$69.2m), 13.3 percent lower than a year ago, the net profit represented a margin of 10.1 percent, down by 3.5 percentage points.

The dollar appreciated by 23 percent against the Brazilian real in the 12 months ended June 30, making Brazilian companies more competitive abroad, but raising the prices of raw materials and imported components. On the other hand, rubber prices started to decline in April.

Alpargatas' domestic sales rose by 9.4 percent in volume, with increases of 11 percent for Havaianas and Dupé and 5.9 percent for the sports brands owned or distributed by the group – Topper, Rainha, Mizuno and Timberland. However, delays at customs and problems with the supply of leather and other raw materials caused a drop in volumes for Timberland and prevented Mizuno from meeting its growth potential (more in Shoe Intelligence).