Chinese sports shoe retailer Anta Sports has delivered its sixth consecutive year of sales growth, reaching a record US$4.8 billion in 2019, 40 per cent up on the prior period.
Hong Kong-listed Anta Group owns many Chinese and international sports brands, including Anta, Fila, Descente and Kolon Sport.
Sales of the Anta brand surged 21.8 per cent, and for Fila by 73.9 per cent.
Profit attributable to shareholders was a record $757 million, up 30.3 per cent, marking the third consecutive year of 30-per-cent-plus growth for the company.
Anta ended last year with 12,943 stores, 10,516 of those across Mainland China bearing the Anta or Anta Kids banners. Another 1951 Fila stores are located on the mainland and in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore and there are 136 Descente stores in China.
The company said a policy of pursuing “high-quality growth, organic operation and strong cost management” over recent years had laid a solid foundation for the group to cope with market uncertainties especially in times of challenges posed by the global Covid-19 outbreak.
“Prior to the outbreak, brands under the group have already realised strategic plans of both online and offline development,” the company said in a statement.
“In the early stage of the outbreak, the group has also reacted promptly to offset the blow from coronavirus – implementing strict cost management, exercising community marketing, building more flexible supply chains, maintaining on-time logistics and deliveries, and promoting e-commerce innovation are all among concrete moves that Anta Group has made.”
The company is predicting a “low double-digit” decline in sales for the first half of the current year as a result of the coronavirus crisis impacting retail, but anticipates a return to growth in the second half given the rebounding Chinese economy.
“Therefore, the group is confident to achieve positive annual growth by the end of 2020.
“From a long-term perspective, the Covid-19 outbreak will not last for an indefinite period of time and consumers’ needs for health and fitness products will definitely be heightened, which will contribute to the group’s swift recovery after the crisis.”