Fujian-based Anta Sports Products (2020.HK) said it booked a full-year net profit of US$183 million in 2009, up 40% year-on-year. Revenue grew 27% to US$859 million while the company’s net profit margin rose to 21.3% from 19.3% in 2008. Anta said it would expand its presence in “densely populated areas with rapid economic growth to sustain our leading position in second- and third-tier cities.”
The company said growth in 2009 was largely due to an increase in wholesale and retail prices as well as rapid expansion across the country – it opened 924 stores last year bringing the total to 6,591. Management said same-store sales grew 5-10% and this growth rate is expected to continue through 2010.
China’s sports apparel makers, including Anta, Li Ning (2331.HK) and Xtep (1368.HK), have succeeded in riding the wave of growing consumer demand for leisure goods. This demand growth has been extending from traditionally wealthier coastal areas to lower-tier inland cities in line with rising urban incomes.
Anta last year became the official sportswear sponsor for China’s national team in several international events, including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2012 London Olympics. These deals will do much to boost brand image as the company seeks to expand its network to 7,200 stores with a view to leapfrogging Li Ning to become China’s leading domestic sportswear maker.