HONG KONG May 27 China's top shoe retailer
Belle International Holdings Ltd said it expects
sluggish growth in the world's second-largest economy to weigh
on its earnings for the next two years after profit edged up
just 1 percent in its latest fiscal year.
"The macroeconomic outlook for the next two years is not
optimistic," chief executive officer Sheng Baijiao said in a
filing to the Hong Kong bourse late on Monday. "The consumer
retail market is expected to be under continued pressure due to
weak consumer sentiment."
The slowing economy, fierce competition both in bricks and
mortar stores and in e-commerce, and rising labour costs are all
weighing on retailers in China. Some are locked
in price wars that are taking a toll on profit margins.
In its filing, China's biggest footwear retailer by market
value said net profit rose 1 percent to 5.16 billion yuan ($827
million) for the 14 months ended February, compared with 5.11
billion yuan in a comparable 14-month period ended February
Belle, which distributes sportswear for the likes of Nike
, Adidas, PUMA and Converse, changed
its financial year-end date to the end of February from December
earlier this year. For the 14 months revenue at Belle, with a
network of nearly 20,000 stores in total, rose 10 percent to
43.06 billion yuan, up from 39.13 billion yuan in the 14 months
ended February 2013.
Nike and Adidas account for about 90 percent of the sales of
Belle's sportswear and apparel business. Sportswear business
accounted for about 39 percent of the total revenue.
In early trading in Hong Kong, Belle shares were down 1.9
percent while the benchmark Hang Seng Index was off 0.04
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($1 = 6.2392 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and