Top China footwear retailer Belle says H1 profit up 11.7 pct

HONG KONG Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:45am EDT

HONG KONG Aug 21 (Reuters) - China's top footwear retailer, Belle International Holdings Ltd, said on Tuesday its first half net profit rose 11.7 percent from a year ago, matching forecasts, on a strong pickup in same-store sales and an expanding store network.

Belle, which distributes brands including Nike, Adidas, Kappa, PUMA, Converse and Mizuno, said it had net profit of 2.24 billion yuan ($352.2 million) for the January-June period, compared with 2 billion yuan in the same period in 2011.

That compared with an average forecast of 2.2 billion yuan by five analysts polled by Reuters.

Revenue increased to 16.02 billion yuan during the period from 13.9 billion yuan a year ago.

Shares of Belle have risen nearly 10 percent so far this year, outperforming a 9 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. ($1 = 6.3594 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Donny Kwok and Rachel Lee; Editing by Ken Wills and Jason Subler)

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