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Chinese retailer Miniso's annual loss widens to $215m on lockdowns

Sales rebound in latest quarter as overseas markets recover

Miniso opened 406 stores across China alone over the year ending in June. (Photo by Takashi Kawakami)

GUANGZHOU -- Chinese discount store operator Miniso amassed a net loss exceeding 1.4 billion yuan ($215 million) for the year ended in June as the coronavirus pandemic deepened the company's red ink.

Miniso struggled as normally profitable overseas outlets were forced to close temporarily amid lockdowns. But performance picked up in the April-June quarter, led by operations abroad.

Full-year group sales inched up 1% to 9 billion yuan, the company said Thursday. Chinese revenue rose 21% to 7.2 billion yuan, but other regions declined 39% to 1.7 billion yuan. Miniso widened its net loss from the fiscal year ended June 2020, when it finished 200 million yuan in the red.

However, sales in the recent April-June period soared 59% on the year to 2.4 billion yuan. Chinese sales grew 43% while sales in other markets mushroomed by 180%. Net profit in the fiscal fourth quarter reached 100 million yuan, rebounding from a loss of 40 million yuan in the year-ago period.

Miniso operated 4,749 stores at the end of June, up more than 10% from a year earlier. The chain added 406 shops in China for a total of 2,939 domestic outlets, while opening 121 more locations abroad for a total of 1,810.

The retailer did business in 98 nations and territories outside of China as of June 30. The company expects to reach its 100th market by the end of the year, Vincent Huang, Miniso's vice president of international business, told Nikkei.

Huang said Miniso's relative early entry in Asia and Latin America will help in further developing those markets, with plans to swiftly open additional locations in the Mideast and Europe.

The group is focusing resources on Top Toy, its chain of figurine hobby shops. Since opening the first location in Guangzhou in December, the operation now spans 33 locations across China.

Miniso, founded in 2013, goes under the brand name Meiso in Japanese. The outlets have been compared with the Muji chain of home goods stores run by Japan's Ryohin Keikaku. Miniso's red-and-white logo -- in English and Japanese -- bears a resemblance to that of Fast Retailing's Uniqlo casualwear as well.

The company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in October.

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