Slovakian leather and footwear companies tripled their gross earnings in 2001 to SKK463.3 million. Revenues in the sector grew 16 per cent over last year to SKK10.6 billion. The president of the Leather and Footwear Industry Association, Stefan Sulo, said this improvement was due to companies' competitiveness in the European Union market. Exports made up 80 per cent of sales, up 30 per cent from 2000.