HONG KONG, (Reuters) — ANTA Sports Products Ltd, China's biggest footwear retailer by market value, posted a forecast-beating 28 percent rise in first-half net profit on Wednesday and said it was on the prowl for acquisitions to help it expand overseas.
ANTA, which has retail stores and counters in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, said it had expanded its presence in emerging markets in the first half and singled out growth in children's products and its e-commerce business for its solid performance.
"We are looking at acquisitions to grow our business overseas," chairman Ding Shizhong said at a results conference.
"We are looking at some targets. They are brands," he added, without elaborating.
China's sportswear companies are emerging from years of overzealous expansion that had been fuelled by the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games fever, which resulted in bloated inventories.
ANTA, which has a market value of $4.4 billion, said net profit for the six months ended June rose to 802.8 million yuan ($130.15 million), up from 625.7 million yuan in the same period a year earlier.
That compared with an average forecast of 758 million yuan by three analysts polled by Reuters.
Turnover amounted to 4.12 billion yuan, up 22 percent.
Ding said the company was the first among its peers to recover, although that did not mean others would bounce back at the same pace as the industry still faced uncertainty due to a lack of product differentiation and fierce competition.
ANTA's shares closed up 5.2 percent in afternoon trade after the results to HK$14.24, their highest since July 2011, and outperforming a 0.3 percent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
China's rapid urbanisation, an improvement in livelihoods and the popularity of sports in the country would further drive demand for affordable sportswear, the company said.
ANTA, which competes with Li Ning Co Ltd and foreign rivals such as Nike Inc and adidas AG , said its order value for delivery in the first quarter of 2015 maintained positive growth with a low double-digit increase year-on-year.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye