Dec 11 China's Camkids Group Plc, far from being
discouraged by the country's one-child policy, is counting on
doting Chinese parents and grandparents to boost their spending
as the company looks to raise 5.75 million pounds ($9.25
million) on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on
The outdoor sportswear company, which began in 1994 as shoe
manufacturer for brands such as Geox and Fila, designs and
distributes hiking boots, backpacks, sleeping bags and
all-weather jackets under its Camkids brand.
"We are expecting the market for the children's apparel and
footwear (in China) to grow at the rate of about 17 percent over
the next four years," Chief Financial Officer Ng Pei Eng said.
"...One kid, they have two parents and four grandparents all
focusing on and pampering the kid," Ng said, explaining the
company's bullish outlook.
At stake is a market catering to the young that is worth
about 1.1 billion pounds a year, according to the company.
Camkids, which had revenue of 74 million pounds and an
after-tax profit of 16 million pounds in 2011, has 15
distributors operating more than 1,000 outlets in China.
But the fast-growing Chinese sportswear market is highly
competitive, and local brands jostle for market share with the
likes of Nike Inc and Adidas, which invest
heavily in marketing and research and development.
Ng said Camkids, which focuses on the 8-to-18 age group, is
not worried about competition from the global companies.
Camkids sold more teenage outdoor footwear in 2011 than any
other brand or company in the country, according to third-party
data supplied by the company.
"If you look at Nike and Adidas Kids, they are actually
focusing more on general sports like basketball and running
shoes but our focus is purely on outdoor activities," Ng said.
Outdoor sports are growing China as disposable incomes rise
and better roads and more cars make it easier for people to get
out of the city, she said.
China's 10th-biggest sportswear brand, Naibu Global
International, listed on AIM in April.
Its shares have since dropped more than 40 percent.
Camkids plans to use money raised through the IPO to expand
from its base in Fujian province to Shanghai and Guangzhou as
well as smaller cities.
The company, which is being advised by Allenby Capital Ltd,
has said it expects to have a market capitalisation of about 66
million pounds upon listing.
The company plans to issue about 7.4 million shares priced
at 88 pence per share.
($1 = 0.6221 British pounds)
(Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr)