Aug 12, 2016

    Li Ning sportswear firm gets back to winning ways


    CHINESE sportswear maker Li Ning said it returned to profit in the first half of 2016.

    A surge in online sales and an expanded sales network helped maintain momentum for a long-sought recovery.

    China's best-known home-grown sports brand said it made a net profit of 113.4 million yuan (S$23 million) from January to June, compared with a 29.4 million yuan loss in the same period a year ago.

    Li Ning, whose investors include private equity firm TPG Capital Management and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, had spent three years in the red due to fierce competition and inventory problems before returning to an annual profit last year.

    "It is expected that the e-commerce business will sustain growth for the second half of 2016," chairman Li Ning said.

    The number of Li Ning-brand outlets or sales counters in China climbed to 6,169 as of end-June, a net increase of 36 from the end of last year.

    Li Ning is aiming to increase its number of outlets or sales counters by 300 to 500 this year.