Globeride's net income surged by 80 percent to 4.26 billion yen (€32.9m-$38.7m) in the year ended March 31 as the parent company of Daiwa Seiko raised its sales by 8 percent to ¥85.8 billion (€662.2m-$779.7m). Excluding one-time items, net earnings rose by 14 percent to ¥2.49 billion (€19.2m-$22.6m). The gross margin declined by 0.5 percentage points to 35.9 percent. Sales grew by 5 percent in Japan. They rose by 19 percent in the U.S., thanks to aggressive marketing, by 12 percent in Europe and by 25 percent in Asia-Pacific.One of the leading Italian footwear clusters, Montebelluna, which specializes in the production of sports and outdoor shoes, posted a 6.2 percent increase in exports to €1,069 million in 2017, with growth of 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter. The figures come from a survey conducted by an Italian bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, of Italy's 153 industrial clusters, a very important factor in the country's economy. Altogether, they raised their exports by 5.3 percent to €105.6 billion last year, driven by the metalworking and fashion industries. This contrasts with a 0.1 percent decline recorded in 2016, indicating that the demand for Italian-made products is rising. The fastest-growing clusters for footwear and leathergoods were those of Florence and Arezzo, both located in the region of Tuscany (more in Shoe Intelligence).