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Wumart sales fall

Tougher competition and rising costs have dented the profit of Chinese retailer Wumart.

The supermarket operator said 2013 net profit dropped 23.7 per cent to 459 million yuan, its first fall since 2008.

The company attributed the decline on the extended initial incubation period for new stores, losses on one-off disposal of assets resulting from store closures, the pace of rising staff costs exceeding sales growth and rising rental expenses.

The Beijing-based company shuttered 52 stores in 2013 taking its count to 547; it also abandoned its plan to acquire a stake in Thai retail chain CP Lotus.

Wumart should increase its competitiveness against peers like RT-Mart and Yonghui before acquiring a new retail chain, says Kantar Worldpanel Jason Yu.

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