Islamist insurgents have captured a heavily-defended port in the far northern Mozambique town of Mocimboa da Praia, close to the site of natural gas projects worth some $60 billion, local media reported on Wednesday.
It was one of several attacks on the town - 60 km (37 miles) south of the projects being developed by oil majors like France’s Total - this year as insurgents with links to Islamic State have stepped up attacks in the region. Its port is used for cargo deliveries to the developments.
Local news site Zitamar said the port had been seized on Tuesday, when naval forces ran out of ammunition to keep insurgents at bay after days of fighting in Mocimboa da Praia.
A spokesman for the southern African country’s police was not immediately available for comment.
Attacks began in the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado in 2017, and have rapidly gathered pace this year with insurgents seizing key towns for brief periods and increasingly hitting military or strategic targets.
That came after the group, known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, pledged allegiance to Islamic State last year, and IS subsequently began claiming the local group’s attacks, including another strike on Mocimboa da Praia earlier this year.
This week, Islamic State claimed via its media channels to have taken over two military bases in the vicinity of Mocimboa da Praia, resulting in the deaths of a number of Mozambique soldiers and the capture of weaponry ranging from machine guns to rocket-propelled grenades.
The remote region is far from Mozambique’s main central city of Beira and the capital Maputo in the far south.
Over the last few decades, the global sportswear market has turned into an enormous revenue-generating machine, with the profits reaching almost €153bn value in 2019.
However, the first half of 2020 has brought a huge hit for the world’s largest sports brands, with thousands of their shops closed amid coronavirus lockdown.
According to data presented by SafeBettingSites, Nike, Adidas, and Puma, as the world’s largest suppliers of athletic apparel, lost €7.3bn in revenue amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Nike’s Revenue Plunged by €3.87bn
As one of the largest and most recognizable brands on the planet, Nike represents the leader in the industry of sports equipment and athletic apparel. The US-based company, traded as NKE on the New York Stock Exchange, has acquired several footwear and apparel companies over its history, including Converse, Cole Haan, Starter, Bauer Hockey, Umbro, and Hurley International. Today, it sponsors many high-profile professional athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Lebron James, and Rory Mcllroy, and manufactures uniforms for a wide range of sports teams including Barcelona, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
In the third quarter of the fiscal year ending on May 31st, 2020, Nike generated €10.10bn in revenue, a €493 million increase compared to the Q3 2019 figures. However, the company’s Q4 2020 financial report revealed the staggering effects of the coronavirus crisis, with the revenues falling to €6.31bn, a €3.87bn plunge year-on-year.
Due to the excellent financial results in the first three quarters, Nike ended the fiscal year with €37.4bn in revenue, a €1.7bn drop in a year. Statista data also revealed that 41% of that amount was generated in the North American market. EMEA and Greater China follow with 26% and 19%, respectively. In 2020, footwear accounted for 66% of Nike’s total revenues. Apparel follows with a 31% revenue share.
Adidas and Puma Combined Revenues Tumbled by €3.47bn
Europe’s largest sportswear manufacturer and the second-largest globally, Adidas, generated €4.75bn in revenue in the first quarter of 2020, a €1.13bn plunge year-on-year. The company’s Q1 2020 financial results also revealed that earnings per share from continuing operations dipped 96% year-on-year, standing at €0.13. Although Adidas e-commerce sales jumped 35% in the first quarter, it wasn’t enough to balance widespread closures of brick-and-mortar stores.
The downsizing trend continued in the second quarter of the year, with the revenue falling to €3.58bn, a €1.93bn drop in a year. From April to June, almost all Adidas stores except those in the Asia-Pacific region were closed. In Latin America and emerging markets, sales decreased by more than 60%, while European and North America witnessed a 40% drop. Statistics show that the company’s revenue plummeted by €3.06bn in the first half of the year.
As the third-largest sportswear manufacturer in the world, Puma lost more than €415 million in revenue amid coronavirus outbreak. Statistics show the company generated €2.13bn in revenue in the first half of 2020, a 16.3% drop year-on-year.
Mauritius’ Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said on Wednesday nearly all remaining oil had been removed from a damaged Japanese ship, which leaked about 1,000 tonnes in a threat to tourism already hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
“At the time I’m talking to you, almost all the oil has been removed from the ship,” Jugnauth told reporters, according to remarks shared by his office.
All fuel had been removed from tanks, but there was some residue in parts of the ship, his office added.
Tourist operators fear the spill will further damage businesses already reeling from the epidemic and could cost jobs if pristine beaches are spoiled.
Tourism generated 63 billion rupees ($1.6 billion) for the economy last year. In May, the central bank said that in the past two months alone, the nation had lost 12 billion rupees in foreign exchange due to the fall in tourism.
“It is really going to affect the communities down there, especially for the fisherman, the local guys that live there, you know that’s how they make money from tourists,” said Willow River-Tonkin, who owns a kite-surfing business.
“Taking them out to go diving, to go snorkelling, to go wakeboarding, to go see dolphins and all that sort of thing you know, and all of that is going to affect it, if we don’t get it under control very soon.”
The MV Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping and operated by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, struck a reef and went aground off the Indian Ocean island’s southeast coast on July 25.
It began leaking oil last Thursday.
Romina Tello, the 30-year-old founder of sustainable tourism agency Mauritius Conscious, said border closures due to the coronavirus had already battered tourism.
Mauritius shut its borders on March 19 and has had only 344 cases of COVID-19, with 10 deaths.
The southeast coast where the oil spill happened is famous for snorkelling, kite surfing, sailing, sea flora and fauna, Tello said. “We are trying to activate domestic tourism. But now, it is impossible for me to recommend for people to travel to the southeast coast due to the smell and they can’t swim because of the spill,”