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China's ANTA posts record 29% profit growth in 2017

ANTA Sports Products Ltd., a leading sportswear company in China, on Feb. 27 reported its diluted earnings per share jumped 22.8% year over year, beating expectations, as sales online and offline increased, and it plans to open hundreds of new stores in 2018.

The Hong Kong-listed company said in a statement that its diluted EPS for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, rose to 1.17 Chinese yuan from 0.95 yuan a year earlier, outpacing a mean consensus of analysts' estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ for normalized EPS of 1.15 yuan.

Net income soared 29.4% year over year to 3.09 billion yuan from 2.39 billion yuan as revenue escalated 25.1% year over year to 16.69 billion yuan from 13.35 billion yuan.

Operating margin edged down 0.1 of a percentage point, or 10 basis points, to 23.9% from 24%.

ANTA, whose brands include ANTA, ANTA KIDS and FILA, said it experienced notable growth in 2017 in its stores and through online platforms.

The company, which has its headquarters in Jinjiang, China, in 2018 said it planned to increase the number of ANTA stores to 9,700 to 9,800, from 9,467, to boost the number of FILA stores in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore to 1,300 to 1,400, from 1,086, and to raise the number of Descente stores to 100 to 110, from 64.

ANTA hiked its dividend to 41 Hong Kong cents per share from 34 cents and said it would pay a special dividend of 16 cents, double the special dividend of 8 cents it paid a year ago.

As of Feb. 27, US$1 was equivalent to 6.32 Chinese yuan.