HONG KONG Feb 23 China's top footwear retailer
Belle International Holdings Ltd reported a 3.2
percent rise in 12-month profit as competition from e-commerce
and an increasing supply of shopping malls dampened sales in a
tough retail climate.
"Traditional retail channels, including the street shops and
department stores, are under continued pressure due to weak foot
traffic," CEO Sheng Baijiao said in a statement on Sunday.
"In the near future various businesses of the group will
still be facing enormous challenges," Sheng added.
Belle, which distributes footwear and sportswear brands
including Nike, Adidas, PUMA and
Converse, posted a net profit of 4.491 billion yuan for 12
months ended in December, up from 4.352 billion yuan a year ago.
That compared to an average forecast of 4.362 billion yuan
for January to December period, according to analysts polled by
Reuters. Revenue rose 10.3 percent to 36.249 billion yuan.
Belle has changed its financial year-end date to end of
February. It will announce its earnings for 14 months ending in
February in May.
Gross profit margin of its overall business increased to
57.5 percent during the 12 months period, from 56.6 percent a
year ago. Cost of sales surged 7.9 percent.
Belle directly managed a network of 19,077 stores in
mainland China as end of 2013, an increase of 9 percent from a
year ago. It said it would maintain a similar pace of network
expansion in the next two to three years.
For full statement click (link.reuters.com/wux96v)
Shares of Belle, which fell 46.7 percent last year, have
lost 1.9 percent so far this year, outpacing a 3.2 percent drop
in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
($1 = 6.0914 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Louise Heavens)