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Chow Tai Fook: To open net 35-45 jewelry stores in China in fiscal second-half

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, the Hong Kong-based jewelry group, said it will open a net 35 to 45 points of sale for jewelry in mainland China during the fiscal second-half ending on March 31.

The company plans to open a net 140-150 stores in China for the full fiscal year, following the opening of a net 105 points of sale in mainland cities in the fiscal first-half, it said in a presentation to the media after announcing its results on Tuesday.

The company is targeting same-store sales growth in "high single digits" during the current financial year, Executive Director Adrian Cheng said at the briefing.

During the first-half, the company's same-store sales grew 10.3% in mainland China and 9.5% in Hong Kong and Macau.

Chow Tai Fook, among the world's largest listed jewelers, said its net profit for the six months ended Sep. 30 jumped 45.6% from a year earlier to HK$1.78 billion ($227.8 million). Its half-yearly revenue increased 15% to HK$24.75 billion.

The company's operating profit margin for operations in Hong Kong, Macau and other markets increased in the fiscal first-half amid a drop in rental expenses, Finance Director Hamilton Cheng said. Rents at street stores in those markets fell by around 30% from a year-ago, even as rents at stores in shopping malls were unchanged, he added.

For the full year ending Mar. 31, 2018, the company expects a drop of about 15% in overall rental expenses, he said.

-- Amy Lam

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