AKU closes 2022 with 28.6% growth of consolidated turnover

Despite the serious difficulties that have affected the industry throughout 2022, the year that has just ended represents a successful one for AKU ITALIA, with turnover rising from 22 million in 2021 to the current 29.2.

A net growth of over 28.6% that marks a further step forward in the development strategy of the Montebelluna brand, specialists in the production of high-end outdoor and professional footwear. A double-digit growth realised on the main international markets with +14% in Europe and +99% in Asia, bringing the overall export percentage to 82% of the total turnover.

“We are very satisfied with the result obtained at the end of a difficult year, characterized by numerous problems affecting the entire supply chain in our industry. Difficulties that were reflected in the market with delays in deliveries during the summer, our most important season,” said Paolo Bordin, CEO of AKU ITALIA.  “Despite this,” Bordin continues, “our organization was able to react with flexibility and determination, still managing to guarantee our customers an adequate level of service, which in the end rewarded us, both in Italy and abroad.”

Merit also goes to a long-term product development and marketing strategy that is bearing fruit, linked to important investment choices in terms of content quality.

Successful products recognized by insiders, specialist retailers and opinion leaders, as true excellence in their category. This is the case of the CRODA mountaineering and ROCKET hiking models, both awarded footwear of the year in their category by two authoritative sector magazines, in Germany and Italy respectively.

Marketing initiatives to enhance the brand on the one hand and to support distribution on the other, which contribute to implementing a service model that is fundamental for adding value to the specialized brands with which the company has always collaborated in a spirit of true partnership.

Important investments have been made in the development of the production organization, with the acquisition of a new plant in Vranje in southern Serbia, operational from September 2022, which, added to Montebelluna, Cluj Napoca (Romania) and Simanovci (northern Serbia), brings the number of plants owned by the company to 4: an industrial organization that today employs a total of 572 people.   

Industrial development that goes hand in hand with high-profile responsible commitment initiatives, which confirm AKU’s leading role in the field of research into environmental impact within the outdoor footwear sector. A record testified by the achievement in 2022 of certification of the process for calculating CO2 emissions for the entire product life cycle. A goal that today allows AKU, the first in the outdoor footwear sector, to certify the level of emissions and therefore the environmental impact of every single model in production, according to a verified procedure, in order to then proceed with compensation on a real and not just estimated basis. AKU’s commitment to ‘responsible action’ began long ago, also thanks to collaboration with strategic local partners. This is the case of the Dani tannery in Arzignano (VI), a historical supplier of the company, the first to have developed a tanning process that allows the elimination of chromium and heavy metals in the production of the high quality Zero Impact leather, used by AKU since 2015 on the models of the Mountain Inspired line.

Initiatives in the social sphere, both inside and outside the company, which wished to share the positive outcome of the 2022 budget by disbursing a production bonus to all its employees, while at the same time studying the OUTDOOR4ALL (Outdoor for All) program with the aim of offering experiences of contact with nature to people with disabilities.

Lastly, initiatives in the field of environmental research, thanks in particular to the collaboration set up in 2016 with the CNR ISP the Italian Institute of Polar Sciences, as part of the Ice Memory project. A project of high scientific and moral value for the benefit of future generations of scientists, whose aim is the study of climate evolution through the collection and preservation of ice samples from glacial areas threatened by global warming.

All this is collected in the AKU REPORT OF RESPONSIBILITY, published by the company at the end of 2022 and made available online on the institutional website

“The future of AKU”, Bordin points out, “remains strongly linked to the outdoor sector, where the company intends to maintain a strong link with its high-quality manufacturing tradition by continuing to provide products of absolute excellence for mountaineering, trekking and hiking”, but, Bordin continues, “with an ever greater commitment to the new front of developing professional footwear for environmental, safety and military work. A sector, the military one, in which AKU, since 2017 the official supplier of the British army and special corps in Europe, Asia and North America, is increasingly assuming the role of reference brand, thanks to the technical quality standard of its products. To support this strategy,” concludes Bordin. “A new managerial figure has been integrated with the task of developing this specific business area, and we are currently looking for new human resources for the research and development area, as well as technical staff to strengthen the Montebelluna plant.”

Header image: Credit: @scouseroutdoors

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