* Net profit rose to 2.18 billion yuan
* Revenue up 11.7 pct
* Aims to launch an e-commerce platform in Q4
* Sun Art shares up 5 pct this year, outpacing rival CRE
HONG KONG, Nov 14 Sun Art Retail Group Ltd
, China's largest hypermarket chain by market
capitalisation, said on Thursday net profit for the first three
quarters rose 26.4 percent from a year earlier with an expanding
store network helping it shrug off an economic slowdown.
Net profit rose to 2.18 billion yuan ($357.80 million) for
the nine months ended in September, with revenue rising 11.7
percent year-on-year to 65.69 billion yuan, the company said in
a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
For the third quarter, Sun Art's net profit rose about 70
percent to 604 million yuan compared to a year ago and is up 17
percent from the second quarter this year, according to a
Sun Art, which aims to launch an online platform in the
fourth quarter, has pushed into e-commerce as competition in the
hypermarket sector heats up. A tie-up announced last month
between the world's No.3 retailer, Tesco, and China
Resources Enterprise, potentially poses a challenge to Sun Art's
China Resources Enterprise on Thursday said its
third-quarter net profit fell 19.2 percent year-on-year, hurt by
weaker retail demand.
Sun Art, a joint venture between Taiwan conglomerate Ruentex
Group and privately held French retailer Groupe Auchan SA
, also competes with Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the
world's biggest retailer that bought control of Chinese online
store Yihaodian last year.
Joining the competition, Wumart Stores Inc in
October agreed to buy the bulk of the retail stores of CP Lotus
on the mainland.
In China, the hypermarket industry is forecast to grow to
863.8 billion yuan ($142 billion) by 2015, from an estimated
659.6 billion yuan in 2013, according to research firm
Shares of Sun Art climbed 5 percent this year, outpacing a
3.4 percent slide in rival China Resources Enterprise and a 0.03
percent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.