Good Year for Chinese Footwear Firms

Like American firms, Chinese footwear companies are cheering a good financial year, buoyed by growing sales in the China market.

Hong Kong-based Stella International Holdings, which manufactures shoes for such luxury brands as Marc by Marc Jacobs and Sigerson Morrison, said last Friday its revenue from retail operations in China surged 51 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010, to $22.9 million, from $15.2 million in the same period a year ago. Same-store sales for the period grew 42.2 percent.

For the full year, consolidated group revenue totaled $1.3 billion, up 29 percent from 2009.

In a statement, Stella International credited its performance to “a strong bounce-back in the average selling price of its footwear products, reflecting rises in input costs and the group’s ability to serve niche clients, especially luxury and premium brands. Shipment volumes also continued to increase at a steady pace, and the group ran a full order book throughout most of the year.”

Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, also based in Hong Kong, said Thursday its revenue for the full year ended Sept. 30, 2010, rose 15 percent to $5.8 billion, while net profit advanced 3 percent to $479.5 million.

The company, which manufactures for brands such as Adidas and New Balance, said in a statement that footwear manufacturing activity picked up significantly in 2010 over 2009 compared with last year’s level.

“Sales to the group’s largest geographic market, Asia, grew at [a] moderate pace of 15 percent, and the second-largest market, the U.S., was able to return to a pre-crisis level of sales with year-on-year growth at 11 percent,” the firm said.

Meanwhile, same-store sales at Chinese athletic giant Li Ning Co. increased 3.6 percent for the last three months of 2010, compared with the corresponding period of 2009, and rose 3.9 percent for the full year.

Company Chairman Li Ning said in a statement that “the sporting goods industry in China will maintain low double-digit growth in the coming years” as the sporting population is expected to continue its upward movement due to “continued increase in number of sports venues, as well as the development of community or youth-based sports events.”

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