Clarks claims to be the world’s third-largest footwear company after Reebok and Nike, selling about 40m pairs of shoes a year. The company made great strides in America in 2003, selling 10m pairs under its Euro-comfort brand. It also owns Ravel in Britain and Elefanten in Germany. Clarks used to operate 30 factories in the UK but has now closed all but three, transferring production to Brazil and Asia, where wages are much lower. Sales totalled £943m in the year to January 2004, while operating profits reached £63m.
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