NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Triumph ‘The Maker of Lingerie’ launched Magic Wire, its new bra innovation; at House of Triumph (Old Bowery Station, Manhattan). Magic Wire is the first Triumph bra that uses a flexible silicone wire,…
DMCC’s Ahmed Bin Sulayem is Recipient of JNA Awards 2014’s Outstanding Contribution Award
HONG KONG, Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — JNA (Jewellery News Asia), organiser of the JNA Awards, is pleased to announce that Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre), is the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Contribution Award.
Bin Sulayem, the second individual to be receiving this annual accolade, will be honoured at the JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on 16 September at the InterContinental Hong Kong. The much-anticipated awards event, the culmination of a year-long process, will be held alongside the world’s No. 1 fine jewellery event, the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.
Bin Sulayem’s accomplishments have had an extraordinarily positive and enduring impact, not only on DMCC and Dubai, but on the global gemstone and jewellery industry, according to Letitia Chow, Chair of the JNA Awards judging panel.
Chow added, “Under Ahmed Bin Sulayem’s leadership, DMCC has enhanced the flow of diamonds, precious metals, pearls and other commodities through Dubai – one of the world’s leading trade hubs. His vision and boldness in executing his role at DMCC has led to the expansion of the global commodities sector.
His leadership has not only established Dubai as a major commodities trading hub, but also promoted synergistic collaboration with trading partners in Asia.”
Under Bin Sulayem’s guidance, Dubai has become one of the leading diamond trading centres in the world – ideally positioned, geographically and operationally, to serve a pivotal role in the “New Silk Road.”
Commenting on the award, Bin Sulayem said: “It is an honour to accept this prestigious award on behalf of DMCC and Dubai as testament to the strength and leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It is his vision that has enabled DMCC to establish Dubai as the global hub for commodities trade and enterprise, and in doing so making the most of the Emirate’s geographical location between the jewellery and gemstone-producing and consuming countries.”
Bin Sulayem continued, “Today’s gold trade through Dubai has grown from US$6 billion in 2003 to US$75 billion in 2013. The diamond industry has equally grown to some US$39 billion, and Dubai today is ranked among the world’s top three marketplaces for rough and polished diamonds. We are proud to have achieved this in just 10 short years.
“We look forward to continuing on this strong growth trajectory and to further collaborate with our trading partners in mainland China, Hong Kong, as well as other Asian key market players to maximise on the many opportunities that lie ahead.”
Bin Sulayem joined DMCC in 2001 and has since introduced revolutionary infrastructure such as Almas Tower, the tallest commercial tower in the Middle East purpose-built for the diamond trade; and a number of successful products and services, including the establishment of the DMCC Free Zone, the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), and other services such as gold refineries, gold and diamond vaults, and the UAE Gold Bullion Coins which were designed to celebrate the accomplishments and vision of the UAE’s leaders. Bin Sulayem has also played a leading role in reviving Dubai’s traditional pearling industry by launching the Dubai Pearl Exchange in 2007. In just over a decade, DMCC has enabled the flow of trade through Dubai to grow immensely while positioning its free zone as the global gateway for commodities trade and enterprise.
Now in its third year, the JNA Awards is an industry-wide event that honours and recognises excellence and achievement in the global jewellery trade with an Asian focus. In 2013, it conferred the Outstanding Contribution of the Year Award to celebrated jewellery master and sculptor Wallace Chan, who has made a significant impact on the global haute joaillerie scene following his spectacular debut at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris in 2012.
For the Awards’ 2014 edition, a total of 29 companies and six individuals from 11 countries and regions have been shortlisted across 16 categories.
The event has received an overwhelming response in attendance to the night of the awards ceremony and gala dinner. For more information on the event and past award recipients, please visit www.JNAawards.com.
Notes for Editors:
1. About JNA (www.jewellerynewsasia.com)
JNA is the flagship magazine of UBM Asia’s Jewellery Group. First published in 1983, the title is the leader in providing up-to-date international jewellery trade news with an Asian insight. It features original, in-depth reports by experienced journalists covering the latest developments in the diamond, pearl, gemstone, jewellery manufacturing, and equipment and supplies sectors.
2. About the Headline Partners
2.1 Rio Tinto Diamonds (www.riotintodiamonds.com)
Rio Tinto operates a fully integrated diamonds business from exploration through to sales and marketing. It is one of the world’s major diamond producers through its 100 percent control of the Argyle mine in Australia, 60 percent interest in Diavik mine in Canada, 78 percent interest in the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe and 100 percent interest in the Bunder project in India.
Rio Tinto’s share of the production from its three operating diamond mines is sold through its sales and marketing office in Antwerp, with representative offices in Mumbai, Hong Kong and New York. It also operates a niche cutting and polishing factory in Perth for the rare pink diamonds from its Argyle mine. Rio Tinto is a leading supporter of the Kimberley Process, as well as a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
2.2 Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (www.chowtaifook.com)
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd, a leading jeweller in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, was listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in December 2011 and has become the world’s largest pure-play jeweller by market capitalisation. Chow Tai Fook is now a constituent stock of the Hang Seng China 50 Index and the Hang Seng Mainland 100 Index. Its principal products are mass luxury jewellery and high-end luxury jewellery products including gem-set jewellery, gold products, platinum and karat gold product, and watches.
The Group’s iconic brand “Chow Tai Fook” and 85 years of operations represent key competitive advantages of its business. The Chow Tai Fook brand is recognised for its trustworthiness and authenticity, and renowned for its product design, quality and value.
The Group has an extensive retail network, with over 2,100 points of sale in more than 470 cities in Greater China, Singapore and Malaysia. It also has a growing presence in e-commerce. The Group’s vertically integrated business model provides an effective and tight control over the entire operation chain from raw material procurement, design, production, to marketing and sales through its extensive retail network.
3. About the Honoured Partners
3.1 Diarough Group (www.diarough.com)
Diarough Group was established in Antwerp in 1975 and owns diamond polishing factories in China, India, Thailand and Botswana, with a network of sales offices around the world. Diarough is known among the most professional and respected names in the international diamond industry.
Diarough believes in building and nurturing long-term business relationships based on mutual trust, finding solutions to business and marketing problems, creating marketable opportunities through innovative products and providing excellent client services.
Its jewellery manufacturing unit Uni-Design has produced many award-winning jewellery pieces, which have been proudly worn by celebrities on the red carpet over the years.
The Group employs over 3,500 people and is engaged in a wide range of diamond business activities like rough trading, cutting, polishing, jewellery manufacturing and marketing to retailers, chain stores, global brands and private labels worldwide. Diarough employs advanced technology and modern work speed with traditional ethical business practices upon which the Company was founded.
3.2 Gubelin Group (www.gubelin.com)
Since 1854, the name Gubelin has stood for the very highest standards in gemstones, jewellery and watches. With its selection of the most sought-after timepieces and jewellery of its own design, the family-run business is represented at all the prime locations in Switzerland: Lucerne, Zurich, Basel, Bern, St. Moritz, Lugano and Geneva. Last November, Gubelin Jewellery established its presence in Hong Kong.
Besides the jewellery boutiques and the Gubelin Ateliers, the group has a newly-established Academy and a world-renowned Gemmological Laboratory. The Gubelin Gem Lab is one of the oldest and most respected institutions of its kind, relied on by dealers, auction houses, royal families and collectors since the 1920s.
3.3 KARP Group (http://www.karpjewellery.com/)
With over four decades of experience and expertise in the diamond trade, KARP caters to international luxury brands. Apart from being a DTC Sightholder, the group is recognised as an “institution” in the industry, using the most technologically advanced manufacturing systems in the business. KARP manufactures a huge array of products, from 0.005-carat goods to stones weighing 10 carats and above.
It excels in the production of certified fine makes, fancy-cut goods and fancy coloured diamonds. The manufacturer is one of the few companies that has achieved up to 5-micron precision in diamond manufacturing.
3.4 Paspaley Pearling Company (www.paspaley.com)
Paspaley Pearling Company is the leading producer of Australian South Sea pearls, supplying strands, loose pearls and mother-of-pearl shells to many of the world’s leading jewellery wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers.
The Paspaley family became involved in pearling in the 1920s and is the world’s only South Sea pearl producer with origins in the natural pearl industry. Paspaley Pearling Company Pty Ltd was incorporated in 1953 and built its success and reputation as a pioneer in the cultivation of South Sea pearls. Today, the Company sets the benchmark for modern pearling practices, operating numerous pearl farms dotted along more than 2,500 kilometres of the remote and pristine coastline of north-west Australia.
Paspaley’s harvest represents the majority of Australian South Sea pearl production and has a well-deserved reputation for exceptional quality.
3.5 Shanghai Diamond Exchange (www.cnsde.com)
Authorised by the State Council, the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) is the only diamond exchange in China and provides diamond dealers a fair and safe transaction venue under close supervision. It also enjoys a favourable taxation policy and is operated in accordance with international best practices of the diamond industry.
Established in 2000, the SDE is a non-profit, self-regulating membership organisation and a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.
3.6 The Israel Diamond Institute (www.israelidiamond.co.il)
The Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI) is a non-profit, public interest company representing all institutions involved in the Israeli Diamond Industry. Israel is one of the world’s leading diamond centres, and the Israeli diamond industry has an illustrious history dating back to the late 1930s.
IDI works for the benefit of Israel’s diamond industry in the areas of marketing and business promotion, international communications, R&D, rough sourcing, professional training, publishing and security consultancy. IDI is responsible for industry participation in major trade fairs around the world, organising Israeli Diamond Pavilions, receptions, press conferences and other events at these fairs.
IDI operates a representative office in Hong Kong, which fosters trade relations with Asian markets.
3.7 The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (www.gdland.com.hk/en)
The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (GDLAND), with its headquarter in Hong Kong, is listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, and is a subsidiary of GDH Limited, which is Guangdong Province’s largest conglomerate operating outside Mainland China.
The principal business of GDLAND is property development and investment, including but not limited to the development and operational management of the innovative commercial real estate, urban complex and industrial business complex. As the strategic arm of GDH Limited, GDLAND engages in the business development of commercial real estate, as well as the projects of urban and industrial complex.
GDLAND’s flagship project, namely the “Buxin Project”, is planned to become the biggest and most advanced jewellery mart in the world, including a large-scale jewellery trading and exhibition centre along with other facilities, with a lot size of over 87,000 square metres. The Buxin Project, which is located in the Buxin area of Luohu district in Central Shenzhen, close to the Shuibei Gold and Jewellery Base, is expected to develop the area into one of the most influential gold and jewellery trading and exchange platforms in China and around the world.
4. About UBM Asia
Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is Asia’s leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in mainland China, India and Malaysia. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global presence in 24 major cities with 30 offices and over 1,300 staff.
With a track record spanning over 30 years, UBM Asia operates in 20 market sectors with 160 dynamic face-to-face exhibitions, 75 high-level professional conferences, 28 targeted trade publications, 18 round-the-clock vertical portals and virtual event services for over 1,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world. We provide a one-stop diversified global service for high-value business matching, quality market news and online trading networks.
UBM Asia has extensive office networks in China, Southeast Asia and India, three of the world’s fastest growing B2B events markets. UBM China has 11 offices in the major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen, where we organise more than 70 exhibitions and conferences. In ASEAN, UBM Asia operates from its offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines with over 60 events in this region. UBM India teams in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai organise 20 exhibitions and 60 conferences every year across the country.
For more information, contact:
JNA Awards Marketing
UBM Asia (Hong Kong)
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Aquasition Corp.’s Warrants and Units to be Delisted from the NASDAQ Stock Market
SHISHI, China, August 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Aquasition Corp. (the “Company”) (NASDAQ: AQU), a company engaged in the design, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of casual menswear in China, today announced that on August 25, 2…
Xiniya to Report Second Quarter 2014 Results on September 11, 2014
XIAMEN, China, August 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/– China Xiniya Fashion Limited (“Xiniya” or the “Company” NYSE: XNY), a leading provider of men’s business casual apparel in China, today announced that it plans to release its unaudited financial …
adidas Chooses Callcredit’s GMAP to Help with Expansion Strategy in China
SHANGHAI, Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Global sports brand adidas has used the expertise of international retail planning experts GMAP Marketing Consulting (Shanghai) Ltd., part of Callcredit Information Group, to support in their China expansion strategy.
adidas already has 7,600 shops across 1,000 Chinese cities and intends to consolidate their location coverage in the major cities as well as increase their footprint in China by expanding to another 400 cities by the end of 2015, with special focus on opportunities in middle sized cities. With GMAP’s extensive data coverage in over 50 cities, including comprehensive mapping of both current and future retail locations, the newly established GMAP Shanghai team was chosen to help adidas understand and prioritise where expansion potential exists.
Headquartered in Leeds, UK, GMAP has over 25 years’ experience helping global organisations with retail network planning. With a strong existing client base in Asia Pacific, GMAP helps retailers identify target customers and develop optimal location strategies for store networks and expansion. GMAP Shanghai combines our global modelling expertise with a local team of analysts to help both international and domestic clients in China.
GMAP conducted a market analysis study, covering 45 cities in mainland China (tiers 1-3) as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan. The results were used to provide adidas with a complete picture of demand and supply, along with identifying the direction of consumer spending flows. Using expert modelling solutions, GMAP calculated the size of the market opportunity for sports and casual fashion in nearly 5,000 unique retail sub-centres, identifying which locations and malls within specific cities would offer the highest revenue prospects for expansion. To obtain the most accurate data, a physical survey of all locations, including current adidas and competitor stores, as well as new potential locations, was undertaken.
The result was a detailed roadmap identifying the most viable locations to target for store expansion. This included all existing retail centres and malls as well as a unique database of over 800 future retail developments coming on stream in the next year or two with recommendations on which would have the most retail potential.
Tom Brown, Retail Expansion Director, adidas China, commented, “Working with GMAP in China is like a breath of fresh air.”
Luke Whittam, Asia-Pacific Director, GMAP, added, “It was a pleasure to work with adidas in this exciting and dynamic market. It provided the opportunity to validate our well-developed approaches in a market with huge potential for so many innovative retailers.“
About Callcredit Information Group – www.callcredit.co.uk
Callcredit Information Group’s leading approach to deploying consumer information brings together experts across the fields of credit referencing, marketing services, interactive solutions and consultative analytics to provide clients with a range of innovative and effective products to discover new customers and to engage with current customers to optimise and increase profitability.
Products include award-winning fraud verification tools and database solutions to positively verify consumers, global operations to help expand businesses into new markets, digital solutions to improve the overall journey consumers make during interaction with a brand, customer handling to ensure consumer satisfaction at all levels and consumer marketing data and segmentation to improve understanding and targeting of customers and prospects.
Callcredit also offers products to assess a customer’s credit risk and affordability and its experts in collections and recoveries provide tailored debt recovery and tracing tools. The company’s market analysis and network planning function helps organisations develop profitable retail networks, and its tools in multi bureau, analytics and metrics work to provide fully assessed bureau data.
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China Fordoo Holdings Limited (Stock Code: 2399) Announces 2014 Interim Results
— Turnover Reached RMB766.2 Million
— Gross Profit Increased by 13.0% to RMB269.1 Million
HONG KONG, Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — China Fordoo Holdings Limited (“Fordoo” or the “Company” and, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”, Stock Code: 2399), a reputable menswear brand in the PRC, is pleased to announce its interim results for the period ended 30 June 2014 (the “period”).
During the period, benefited from the growing recognition of the Group’s “FORDOO” brand and an increase in the average wholesale price of products, the Group’s turnover increased to RMB766.2 million, representing an increase of 6.8% over the corresponding period last year (1H2013: RMB717.4 million). The expansion of distribution network further strengthened the profitability of the Group. Net profit increased by 8.5% to RMB128.7 million over the corresponding period in 2013. Basic and diluted earnings per share were RMB36 cents, representing an increase of 8.5% as compared to the corresponding period last year (1H2013: RMB33 cents).
Mr. Kwok Kin Sun, Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board said, “In the first half of 2014, China’s economic growth continued to slowdown and the retail market remained weak. For the apparel retail industry, the total retail sales of garments, hats, footwear and knitwear recorded a 10.0% year-on-year increase, which was 1.9 percentage points lower than that of the corresponding period in 2013. Therefore, the Group adopted a prudent operation strategy and focused on improving the distribution channel management and enhancing product quality and design. We are very satisfied that the purchase orders from the sales fair held in March 2014 increased by 24% from the ones held in September 2013.”
As a reputable menswear brand in the PRC, by product type, Fordoo continued to lead the market in the men’s trousers segment. In the first half of 2014, turnover from men’s trousers increased by 16.9% to RMB458.1 million as compared to the corresponding period last year (1H2013: RMB392.0 million). In addition, sales of trousers remained the major contributor to the total turnover with a proportion of 59.8%. In terms of product style, the Group maintained a healthy growth in the business formal and business casual series. The business casual series continued to be the largest turnover contributor to the Group with a proportion of 63.4% (1H2013: 61.1%).
The Group has been striving to optimize its retail and sales network for the sustainable business growth. As of 30 June 2014, the retail and distribution network of the Group further expanded to 52 distributors and 180 sub-distributors. During the period, the Group had a total 1,353 retail outlets (including 2 self-operated retail stores), representing a net increase of 53 retail outlets as at 31 December 2013, spanning over 240 cities and 31 provinces, autonomous regions and central government-administered municipalities in the PRC. The increase in retail outlets was a strategy to further penetrate into the markets in the second and third-tier cities.
In the first half of 2014, as part of the Group’s marketing and promotion plan to enhance and reinforce its brand image, the renovation of 41 existing stores had completed, and the plan for renovating another 59 stores by the end of the year remained on track. In addition, the Group continued to actively carry out regular advertising and promotion campaign through various channels, such as advertisements in fashion magazines, promotion activities in the internet and other media, as well as advertisements on large outdoor billboards in airports, highways and well-known department stores.
Looking ahead to the second half of 2014, the Group sustains its cautiously optimistic view with respect to the growth of consumer demand in menswear market in China. It is confident that the ongoing urbanization and expanding middle class in China will generate a strong demand on apparels in the long run. Therefore, the Group maintains its target for distributors of adding approximately 200 retail outlets within the year. In the coming 2014 spring/summer sales fair to be held in September 2014, the Group will launch a new casual fashion line targeting young customers aged 18 to 30.
Mr. Kwok concluded, “Fordoo will strive to seize the opportunities arising from the continuous growth of the men’s casual wear and trousers market in PRC, as well as strengthen its cooperation with the distributors and sub-distributors. The Group will equip itself for the future development through enhancing its product design and development capability and kicking off the implementation of the ERP system. Driven by the success of men’s trousers, business formal and business casual series, it is believed that the Group could continue its sustainable growth and maximize shareholders’ returns.”
– End –
About China Fordoo Holdings Limited
Fordoo is a reputable menswear brand in the PRC. Positioned in the middle-upper menswear segment, Fordoo primarily targets men aged 30 to 60. According to Frost & Sullivan, Fordoo brand was ranked sixth in the middle-upper menswear market with a market share of 2.9%, fifth in both the middle-upper business casual menswear segment and the middle-upper business formal menswear segment with respective market share of 4.0% and 2.9%, and second in the men’s trousers category with a market share of 3.0%, all of which were in terms of retail sales in 2013. Fordoo manages and operates the business through a strategically integrated model, comprising brand management and marketing, design and product development, ordering process, procurement of raw materials, self-production and outsourced production and sales and distribution. As of 30 June 2014, Fordoo’s distribution network comprised of 52 distributors, 180 sub-distributors and 1,353 retail outlets (excluding the two self-operated stores).
Issued by Porda Havas International Finance Communications Group for and on behalf of China Fordoo Holdings Limited.
Cole Haan Unveils Exclusive ZeroGrand shoes with award-winning global retailer MR PORTER.COM
NEW YORK, Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Cole Haan, the iconic American lifestyle footwear and accessories brand and retailer, today announces an exclusive release with MR PORTER.COM, the award-winning global retail destination for men’s style. The assortment of six styles consists of the ZeroGrand Wing Ox and two silhouettes designed exclusively for the retailer, the new ZeroGrand Chukka and ZeroGrand Tassel Loafer.
“MR PORTER is the most innovative online men’s shop in the world. It only made sense to bring our most innovative product to them. Upon seeing ZeroGrand, we immediately set to work with them to tailor ZeroGrand to the discerning MR PORTER customer,” remarked David Maddocks, Chief Marketing Officer at Cole Haan.
Cole Haan partnered with MR PORTER to determine all details in this new iteration of dress and casual footwear. The result is a masculine palette that easily coordinates with every man’s wardrobe. The styles all feature an Ivory outsole, which is a main characteristic within the collection.
Expanding on ZeroGrand’s collision of innovation and craft, the unlined shoes use reverse full-grain uppers, a luxurious suede from the long-standing British tannery Charles F. Stead. Each lightweight pair in the collection makes for a perfect Pre-Fall choice, that easily transitions into cooler seasons. Originally launched in July 2014, ZeroGrand features Cole Haan’s new “operating system,” Grand.OS, which delivers greater flexibility, reduced weight and increased cushioning in products that move easily from work to weekend with ease.
“Cole Haan is an exciting new addition to MR PORTER, and we’ve worked with them to produce some exclusive styles on the new ZeroGrand sole unit. Our customer is always looking for something new, and this will be our first offering of a classic shoe x sneaker hybrid,” says Sam Lobban, Senior Buyer at MR PORTER.
Available from mrporter.com starting August 26, the ZeroGrand Chukka ($278) will come in Ivy and Mushroom, the ZeroGrand Tassel Loafer ($268) will come in Mushroom and India Ink ($268), and the ZeroGrand Wing Ox ($268) will come in Ironstone and Black.
For more information, contact:
Kimry Blackwelder, Cole Haan
Nick Troedson, MR PORTER
+1 (212) 763-3060
+1 (852) 3018-6076
About Cole Haan:
Cole Haan LLC, with its Global Creative Center in New York City, is an iconic American lifestyle accessories brand and retailer of premium men’s and women’s footwear and bags, outerwear, eyewear and accessories with a commitment to craftsmanship, timeless style and design innovation. For more information, visit ColeHaan.com and follow @ColeHaan.
About MR PORTER:
MR PORTER is the award-winning global retail destination for men’s style, combining the best international menswear with editorial content. The site sells over 200 leading international brands, with content and new products added weekly. MR PORTER offers express worldwide shipping to 170 countries (including same day delivery to London and New York), and a free collection service for returns and exchanges. For more information, visit mrporter.com.
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Natural Beauty Announces 2014 Interim Results
Turnover Rose 22.1% to HK$248.5 Million
Contribution from Higher-margin Products Drove
Gross Margin Improvement
HONG KONG, Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Natural Beauty Bio-Technology Limited (“Natural Beauty” or the “Group”; Stock Code: 00157), the leading professional skin-care, spa services and beauty training provider in China, announced today its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2014.
For the six months ended 30 June 2014, turnover of the Group grew 22.1% to HK$248.5 million year-on-year (1H2013: HK$203.6 million), driven by an increase in product sales as a result of higher store productivity in Mainland China and Taiwan. Overall gross profit margin improved to 76.7%, as contribution from higher-margin products increased within the Group’s sales mix during the period (1H2013: 75.9%). Profit for the period amounted to HK$29.7 million for the six months ended 30 June 2014 (1H2013: HK$36.2 million). Earnings per share were 1.48 HK cents (1H2013: 1.81 HK cents). The Board recommended to distribute an interim dividend of 2.1 HK cents per share, equivalent to a dividend payout ratio of 141.5%.
Despite the economic growth slowdown in the Mainland China, turnover in the Mainland China market rose by 25.3% to HK$201.8 million for the six months ended 30 June 2014. The growth was driven by increase in sales of products, mainly due to the pilot-testing of “direct-own retail” management system to exercise better control over franchisees in order to drive higher store productivity. During the first half of 2014, gross margin on product sales was up 2.4 percentage points to 81.2%. Turnover for the Taiwan market also registered growth of 11.7% to HK$44.4 million, as the Group adopted door-by-door management via franchisee differentiation to utilize company resources efficiently. Gross margin on product sales expanded 3.5 percentage points to 82.4%. The gross margin improvement in both Mainland China and Taiwan was a result of higher sales contribution from higher-margin products such as NB-1, and lower promotion discounts during the period under review. On the other hand, sales in other regions, including Hong Kong, Macau and Malaysia, decreased 17.9% to HK$2.3 million for the six months ended 30 June 2014, accounting for an insignificant 0.9% of the Group’s turnover.
The Group derives its income principally from its network of distribution channels, including spas and concessionary counters in department stores. As at 30 June 2014, there were 1,358 spas and 14 concessionary counters. A total of 11 new stores were opened and 72 stores were closed during the six months ended 30 June 2014.
During the period, average sales per store of the Group amounted to HK$179,000 (1H2013: HK$138,000), of which average sales per store in the Mainland China grew 32.6% to HK$183,000, while average sales per store in Taiwan increased by 20.6% to HK$164,000.
The Group puts significant emphasis on research and development which allows it to maintain its competitive edge by continuously improving the quality of its existing products and developing new products. The Group has been collaborating with overseas skin-care companies on technological development, drawing on the experience of its team of experts to continually create high-quality beauty and skin care products. During the six months ended 30 June 2014, nearly 191,395 sets/bottles of the Group’s flagship NB-1 family products were sold with turnover amounting to HK$101.3 million, accounting for more than one-third of the Group’s total product sales during the period. The Group has also collaborated with a leading researcher in the field of human genome and stem cell technology. The stem cell technology is patented in the United States to protect the uniqueness of the NB-1 products.
Ms. Karen Chang, Chief Executive Officer of the Group said, “In 2014, the beauty and personal care sector maintained better than GDP growth and we are pleased to have achieved a much higher growth than the industry. Our growth is mainly attributed to the improved channel quality by implementing ‘direct-own retail’ management methodology to drive much higher door productivity. In order to maintain the encouraging growth momentum, we will strengthen trainings provided to our franchisees to ensure their operational quality. We also rationalize our products lines by relaunching NB-1 Revital products to increase the penetration of home care. We will press on with our prudent growth strategy, and strive to strengthen our position as a leading skin care brand and spa operator in the Greater China Region, so as to generate better returns for our shareholders.”
– End –
About Natural Beauty Bio-Technology Limited
Natural Beauty is a leading beauty and spa services and products provider in Greater China. The Group principally offers tailor-made beauty and skin care solutions through its trained professional beauticians. The Group is engaged in research and development, manufacture and sale of skin care, aroma-therapeutic and beauty products, marketed under the brandname “NB®”. The products are distributed through a distribution network of over 1,300 NB’s SPAs and dedicated counters in Greater China.