HONG KONG — Menswear company Trinity Limited said its 2011 full-year net profit jumped 50.5 percent but it also warned that sales momentum in China is starting to slow.
 
Trinity, which owns Kent & Curwen and last year completed its acquisition of Cerruti, said net profit jumped to 513.1 million Hong Kong dollars, or $66.14 million, for the year ended Dec. 31. Revenue increased by 29.6 percent to 2.6 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $335.13 million, driven mostly by retail sales growth of 24.8 percent in greater China.
 
“The growth covers all markets in greater China,” Wong Yat Ming, group managing director for Trinity, said during a meeting with investors and media.
 
Sales in Mainland China rose 28 percent, those in Hong Kong and Macau grew 21.6 percent and those in Taiwan advanced 16.3 percent. Notably, Taiwan sales slowed from a year ago due to a slowing economy.
 
Mainland China now makes up nearly 60 percent of total revenue, up from 57 percent last year. Trinity expects Chinese sales will continue to grow and become a larger proportion of total sales.
 
Trinity now owns a total of 503 stores with 374 in mainland China. The company added 45 stores in China last year, opening 92 and closing 47 underperforming stores. It intends to add 40 new stores in China next year.
 
Wong said Trinity targets same-store sales growth in the low teens for this year, down from 19.5 percent in 2011. The market slowdown has affected sales and Chinese new year sales were lower this year because the holiday came unusually early, shortening the peak shopping season.
 
“The market is still growing but probably not as fast as last year,” Wong said.
 
Trinity altogether manages six menswear brands including Altea, D’Urban, Gieves & Hawkes and Intermezzo, is a member of the privately-held Li & Fung Group (not the Hong Kong listed Li & Fung Ltd).

Trinity ended the year with 790 million Hong Kong dollars, or $101.83 million, in cash. Wong said the company is actively looking for deals.
 
“Hopefully we can do a few good deals and use it up,” said Wong.
 
Wong said Trinity intends to continue its focus on menswear for the next couple years, but could consider women’s apparel in the future.
 
“Cerruti has the potential to do ladies wear but at this point in time, we are focused on menswear,” he said.

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