China's Sun Art Retail's 2011 profits rose 55.2% year-over-year to 1.60B yuan as sales climbed 21% to 68.08B yuan; CFO predicts 2012 same-store sales growth will be slower than last year's 8.8%

LOS ANGELES , March 5, 2012 () – Hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. has predicted that same-store sales growth in 2012 will be slower than last year’s same-store sales growth of 8.8%, Reuters reported March 5.

In 2010, Sun Art Retail’s same-store sales growth was 11.4%.

Nelson Hsu, chief financial officer of Sun Art Retail’s RT-Mart China, predicted that Sun Art Retail’s same-store sales growth in 2012 will outstrip China’s projected consumer price index (CPI) in 2012.

On March 5, Premier Wen Jiabao delivered a report at the annual parliamentary session that predicted China’s CPI would rise by roughly 4% in 2012.

"We expect single digit same-store-sales growth in the first two months this year," Said Sun Art Retail Executive Director Peter Huang, "The growth is actually better than our expectations even though we are seeing a relative slowdown due to the Chinese New Year phenomenon."

Sun Art Retail said its 2011 profits rose 55.2% year-over-year to 1.60 billion yuan (US$254.04 million). Sun Art’s turnover year-over-year increased from 56.17 billion yuan to 68.08 billion.

According to a poll by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, Sun Art Retail’s projected profit for 2011 was 1.73 billion yuan.

Sun Art Retail said that its plans for 2012 include expanding into smaller cities in China, and identifying sites for new stores.

According to Sun Art Retail’s results presentation, which cited estimates provided by Euromonitor, the company’s market share was 12.8%.

Sun Art Retail operates 230 hypermarkets in China.

Rivals Wal-Mart Stores Inc., China Resources Enterprise Ltd. and Carrefour S.A. have market shares of 11.2%, 10.1% and 8.1%, respectively.

The primary source of this article is Reuters, London, England, on March 5, 2012.

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