HONG KONG, March 17 China's largest hypermarket
chain, Sun Art Retail Group Ltd, posted a 50.6 percent
jump in net profit due to retail network expansion into lower
tier Chinese cities, showing its resilience to an economic
slowdown that hit consumer demand.
Sun Art, a joint venture between Taiwan conglomerate Ruentex
Group and privately held French retailer Groupe Auchan SA
, said its profit attributable to shareholders for the
year ended December jumped to a record 2.4 billion yuan ($386.26
million) from 1.6 billion a year earlier.
That was a little higher than the Thomson Reuters
SmartEstimate of 2.298 billion yuan.
Sun Art, which also competes with France's Carrefour
and Britain's Tesco, said its turnover stood
at 77.9 billion yuan, up from 68.08 billion yuan in 2011.
Same-store sales growth slowed and came in at 3.3 percent
during the year, compared to 4.3 percent in the first half
period, and 8.8 percent for 2011, it said in a stock exchange
filing on Sunday.
Sun Art operated 230 hypermarkets across China under the
Auchan and RT-Mart banners at the end of 2011, accounting for a
12.8 percent market share, it said in a previous results
presentation, citing estimates from Euromonitor.
Wal-Mart Stores ranked second in the hypermarkets
segment with 11.2 percent of the market, followed by China
Resources Enterprise with 10.1 percent and Carrefour
with 8.1 percent.