New stores helped grow first-half sales for hypermarket owner Sun Art Retail Group.
Its unaudited interim results show sales revenue rising 2 per cent year on year to RMB52.2 billion (US$7.8 billion) for the six months to the end of June.
During the year to June 30, the group continued to expand in China, opening 29 new stores, all but two in the second half of last year.
For the latest half-year, same-store sales eased by 0.9 per cent, compared to a negative 0.3 per cent year on year. Meanwhile, online and offline business integration accelerated with several new retail formats being launched, as well as an unmanned convenience store prototype, still under development.
The group’s half-year gross profit lifted 4.3 per cent to RMB12.5 billion, with the gross profit margin up 0.5 points to 23.3 per cent, thanks to economies of scale.
Other income soared 133.9 per cent to RMB1 billion, mainly because of RMB460 million worth of unredeemed prepaid cards.
Net profit was up 29.9 per cent to reach RMB1.8 billion, with the net profit margin up 0.7 points to 3.5 per cent.
During the review period, the group opened two hypermarket complexes under the RT-mart banner, in eastern and central China. At the end of June, Sun Art had 446 hypermarket complexes in China with a total gross floor area of about 12.105 million sqm.
Meanwhile, the group has secured 78 sites for further hypermarkets, with all but seven under construction.
Two stores were closed during the six months, one RT-mart in Shanghai and one Auchan store in Qingdao.
In co-operation with Korean group Shilla, Sun Art opened two Llabeau beauty shops, in the RT-mart in Ningbo and in the Auchan store in Suzhou.