Against the backdrop of a Brazilian economy that grew by just 1.0 percent in 2019, in line with the previous one, Alpargatas’ consolidated revenues grew by 9.8 percent last year to 3,712 million Brazilian reais (€672.4m-$724.4m), driven by an improved of Havaianas in international markets. The adjusted net income went up by 29.5 percent to R$ 431.6 million (€78.2m-$84.2m).

The growth rate declined to 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter, leading to revenues of R$ 1,142.7 million (€207.3m-$222.8m) for the period. In contrast with the balance of the year, sales went up by 6.8 percent in Brazil, driven by a better price and channel mix, but those of the company’s Sandals International business declined by 2.2 percent to R$ 133.9 million (€24.3m-$26.2m), mainly due to a revision of the distribution structure in Asia-Pacific.

In an interesting development, Alpargatas launched a new retail format in Brazil, called Store Lab, for its own Havaianas and Osklen brands and for the licensed Mizuno brand, featuring internet kiosks where customers can see how the products can be used in their daily lives, with a choice of colors.

The company’s adjusted Ebitda rose by 16.7 percent to R$ 214.5 million (€38.9m-$41.8m) in the quarter following the implementation of a Revenue Growth Management Initiative, a Value Improvement Program and various Zero-Base Budgeting projects. The adjusted net income went up by 23.6 percent to R$ 197 million (€35.7m-$38.4m), but it was up by only 14.1 percent to R$ 135 million including discontinued operations.

As previously reported, Alpargatas sold its interest in an Argentinian subsidiary that owns the rights to the Topper brand of football products outside Brazil during the fourth quarter for R$ 260 million (€47.2m-$50.7m).

Alpargatas is now a subsidiary of the big Brazilian Itaúsa group. The net income of Alpargatas that is attributable to its shareholders declined last year to R$ 274 million (€49.7m-$53.4m) from R$ 332 million in the prior year, but its results were dwarfed by those of the group’s main subsidiary, the Itaú Unibanco Holding, which claims to be the largest private bank in Latin America. The Itaúsa group’s overall net income went up last year by 9.3 percent to R$ 10.3 billion (€1.87bn-$2.01bn). Incidentally, Itaú is the main banker of Vulcabras Azaleia (see related article in this issue).