Publisher of leading trade magazines for the Footwear, Leather-goods, Leather & PPE industries

S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.10 No.09, February 26 2024

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Sport: In areas where parents withhold school fees, business is slow

Ismail Kajee, Favourite Sports
Newcastle, KZN, SA – The school trade has been very slow this year. Most of the schools in our area are government schools, and it seems funds have dried up at the moment. Normally at the beginning of the year they buy soccer kit, but so far nothing. We have individual customers coming in, to buy soccer boots, athletic shoes and so on, but not very much.

Zaakir Gani, Gani’s Sports World
Witbank, Mpumalanga, SA – Trade is difficult. Prices have shot up. The schools don’t have budgets like before. Team sports are the same. But we carry on.


S&P: VF will need to sell “sizeable” brands to ease debt burden
S&P Global Ratings has downgraded VF Corp.’s credit rating and released a grim assessment of the state of the company’s business after VF reported third quarter earnings last week.
In addition to a deteriorating revenue picture, the rating agency also believes that VF will have to execute a sizeable asset sale to meaningfully reduce its $6 billion debt burden.
VF Problems Not Limited to Vans
S&P said VF’s operating performance continues to worsen for many reasons, even beyond the stalled turnaround at Vans.
“We revised downward our base-case forecast to account for recent declines that we expect to continue in VF’s four major brands – The North Face, Vans, Timberland and Dickies,” S&P wrote in its announcement.
While wholesale is tough for many companies at the moment, VF’s 26% wholesale decline in the third quarter was worse than what competitor brands experienced recently, as was the 8% fall in DTC sales. All of the above “further highlights brand issues beyond Vans,” S&P said.
The rating agency also does not see a turnaround coming anytime soon for Vans, despite the brand’s efforts to increase product innovation and leverage a new VF global commercial model and Americas region platform.
“We believe (Vans) waning resonance with consumers will continue to hamper efforts in fiscal 2025 (which starts in April),”  S&P said. “…Weak demand in the North America wholesale channel and an increasingly competitive landscape means progress against these actions will be slow in the near term.”
S&P lowered its forecast for VF’s fiscal year, which ends next month. S&P now expects VF’s revenue to decline 10% versus the 6% decline previously forecast. EBITDA margin is expected to fall 200 basis points compared to last year.
S&P: VF Asset Sale Likely
The weakness across much of the VF portfolio means it will be harder for VF to reduce debt without an asset sale, something VF is currently considering, according to VF CEO Bracken Darrell.
According to S&P, VF will need to reduce its $6 billion debt by almost $4 billion to reach VF’s stated debt to EBITDA ratio goal of 2.5x.
S&P estimates that VF will end its current fiscal year with a debt to EBITDA ratio of 5x.
“This implies sizeable asset sales, with potential for one or two of VF’s big four brands to be sold,” S&P said. “While this will allow the company to reduce its high debt burden faster, it also reduces its brand diversity and puts more pressure on the remaining underperforming brands to turn around.”



In case you missed it!

The February issue of S&V African Leather Magazine



02 Sam Setter’s ‘Pills’
- A new quip from Sam Setter in each issue.

04 Upfront
- Among other things, an SLF audit is reassurance for our customers, says new Nakara MD Max Schaefer.
- After 3 years ‘in the wilderness’, APLF returns to its Hong Kong roots in time for its 40th anniversary.
- Bader SA and Karan Beef continue their long-standing hide agreement.
- In a difficult era for trophy hunting, Pieter Swart heads both SATTA and SUCo-SA.
- Tops Exotic Leather processes Zambia’s lower croc grades for local leather goods manufacturers.
- Leather technician Björn Jonsson leaves to take up post in France.

11 An Eclectic View
- Crocodiles everywhere! A look at the effect of crocodilian farming on the status of various species in the wild, by H. Procter.
- A simple – but nuanced – answer: Yes, farming has benefited some crocodilians, says Crocodile Specialist Group co-chair Charlie Manolis.

13 Decoding Tanning Science
- The effect of calcium concentration in delimed hides on the efficiency of bating, by the ISTT’s Dr Clive Jackson-Moss.

12 Weights & Measures
- Compiled by the ISTT.

13 Sustainability
- February workshops in Zimbabwe, by Sustainable Leather Foundation MD Deborah Taylor.

17 Agriculture
- The crucial role of crop diversification in SA’s agricultural future, by FNB’s Paul Makube.

17 Animal Welfare
- Reports by the NSPCA:
- Red Sea terror attacks back stand against live export by sea.
- Lions burnt and left to suffer.

19 Trade Statistics
- SA hides, skins, and leather trade statistics for December 2023, issued by SARS.

Advertisers in this Issue
APLF (03), Authenticae (05), International School of Tanning Technology (ISTT) (07), Mimosa (10), Rolfes Leather Division (xx), S&V Calendar (01), S&V Directory (15), Southern African Footwear & Leather Export Council (SAFLEC) (09), Stahl (OFC), Sustainable Leather Foundation (02).





They Said It

"It’s like since COVID, no one worries or want to do things.  The leather industry as it is, is suffering but we all are dropping the ball." - Quintin Marais, Rolfes Leather, Boksburg, Gauteng, SA.

"Don’t you know working on a weekend is against the laws of nature?" - Michael Lawrence, National Clothing Retail Federation of SA, Cape Town, W. Cape, SA. It does feel that way, yes.


New subscribers last week

Abdel Rahim Ahmed, Quality Assurance Innovation and R&D, ALLPI, Addis Ababa, Abdel Rahim Ahmed
Bjorn Jonsson, Technical Manager, C.E.T, Route de Juvardeil , Châteauneuf Sur Sarthe, France
Zacharia Moalahi Skills Development Manager, Vaal University of Technology, Sebokeng Campus, South Africa
Sibulele, Co-founder, iTekkie, Gauteng, South Africa
Karabo Musa, Director, TRODING ENGINEERING PTY LTD, Lobatse, Botswana
Tilesh Sohoraye, Director, TDS Industrial, Floreal, Mauritius


Got anything you'd like to share?

Do you have any suggestions, comments or experiences about the industry that you'd like to share with the industry? -


Birthdays this week

26/02/1946: Brian Carmichael, MTL Trading, Cape Town, W. Cape, SA.
26/02/1959: Prakash Chiba, Falcarragy Trading, Durban, KZN, SA.
26/02/1961: Keith Lyons, Strayz, Pinetown, KZN, SA.
26/02/1981: Ndlela Mazibuko, BBF Safety Group, Pinetown, KZN, SA.
27/02/1975: Denver Mahabeer, ?, formerly Edgars, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA.
28/02/1945: Basil da Silva, Mendelson & Frost, Cape Town, W. Cape, SA.
28/02/1969: Dilesh Dajee, agent, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA.
01/03/1945: Chris Schutte, retired, former agent, Pretoria, Gauteng, SA.
02/03/1953: Garth Ewing, retired, formerly Garth Ewing Agencies, East London, E. Cape, SA.
02/03/1960: Robin Teifel, Harry E. Teifel & Associates, Cape Town, W. Cape, SA.



In memoriam this week

26/02/2023: David Scott (b. 04/09/1955), Scotts, Brazilia Footwear Importers (both closed), exporter, Pinetown, KZN, SA.
27/02/2010: Jean Mee ‘Mick’ Lailvaux (b. 22/02/1919), Service Agencies (closed), Durban, KZN, SA.
27/02/2010: Amanda ‘Mandy’ Terry (b. 20/02/1969), Makro, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA.
28/02/2016: Johnny Parboo (b. 21/10/1945), Labora Shoes, Durban, KZN, SA.
01/03/2004: Sandra Faye Campbell (b. 09/06/1971), Dunn’s Stores, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA.
02/03/1991: Edward Powell (b. 12/02/1967), agent, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA.

Have you let us know about your birthday, or the birthdays of your colleagues? Our readers love this section, so please become part of it. This also applies to the In Memoriam section. Help us remember former colleagues.


Directory entries updated this week

Jinbo Trading, Durban, KZN, SA.





Exchange rates

Note: For previous rates, see HERE

1. SA Rand (ZAR)/Lesotho Loti (LSL)/Namibian Dollar (NAD)/Swazi Lilangeni (SZL)


  Euro € GBP £ US $ CNY ¥
02/01/2024 R20.30 R23.42 R18.54 R2.60
06/01/2024 R20.45 R23.77 R18.68 R2.61
13/01/2024 R20.44 R23.79 R18.65 R2.62
20/01/2024 R20.71 R24.14 R19.01 R2.67
27/01/2024 R20.39 R23.85 R18.78 R2.64
05/02/2024 R20.41 R23.89 R18.98 R2.64
10/02/2024 R20.52 R24.03 R19.03 R2.64
17/02/2024 R20.35 R23.80 R18.89 R2.62
24/02/2024 R20.91 R24.40 R19.30 R2.68

2. Botswana Pula (BWP)


  Euro € GBP £ US $ CNY ¥
02/01/2024 14.66 16.91 13.39 1.88
06/01/2024 14.78 17.19 13.51 1.89
13/01/2024 18.81 17.24 13.52 1.89
20/01/2024 14.86 17.33 13.64 1.91
27/01/2024 14.77 17.28 13.61 1.91
05/02/2024 14.73 17.24 13.70 1.90
10/02/2024 14.77 17.29 13.70 1.90
17/02/2024 14.77 17.28 13.71 1.90
24/02/2024 14.92 17.41 13.77 1.91

3. Malawian Kwacha (MWK)


  Euro € GBP £ US $ ZAR
10/02/2024 1849.26 2165.66 1666.73 90.57
17/02/2024 1847.37 2160.68 1666.73 90.73
24/02/2024 1858.36 2173.21 1666.73 91.40

4. Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)


  Euro € GBP £ US $ ZAR
10/02/2024 29.04 33.99 26.96 1.41
17/02/2024 27.36 31.96 25.40 1.34
24/02/2024 24.91 29.19 22.99 1.19

5. Zimbabwean Dollar (ZWL$)

Source: Source:

  Euro € GBP £ US$ ZAR
10/02/2024 12335.25 14448.09 11450.66 40.42
17/02/2024 13556.38 15850.40 12597.58  
24/02/2024 14868.38 17396.60 13736.36  

Note: For previous rates, see HERE




ABSA Agri Trends: Hides & skins prices

Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA (23 February 2024) - The average hide price remained the same at R3.29/kg, as in the previous week. The current price is 0.23% higher than the average price a month ago and 21.7% lower than the average price a year ago. The range of prices reported was as follows: Minimum price: R3.25 Maximum price: R3.50. Please note: Our methodology weighs the prices we collect according to the number of hides they sell in a month. This is done to make it more representative of the prevailing market price. NB* Hide prices are determined by the average of the RMAA (Red Meat Abattoir Association) and independent companies. - Marlene Louw, senior agricultural economist, and Nkhensani Mashimbyi, agricultural economist, and Zama Sangweni, agricultural economist, Absa group.

Note: For previous prices, see HERE


Have a look at these links

We invite businesses to send us links to websites, Facebook pages and the like which they feel would be of interest to others. The links below are from our database:

Star Paragon, Medine Camp de Masque, Mauritius. Travel goods manufacturer.
Stars & Stitch Uniforms, Kempton Park, Gauteng, SA. Workwear manufacturer.


Contact us

News & Classifieds: Tony Dickson, +27 (0)31 209 7505,

Next newsletter: March 4, 2024. Ad and editorial deadline Friday 1 March.

SAFLIA enquiries: Tel 0800SAFLIA * Email * Website

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