China's Sun Art Retail Group has reported turnover up 14.3% for the year ended 31 December 2012, and same store sales growth of 3.3%.
New stores driving growth
Sun Art Retail opened 43 stores across China during the year, of which nine were under the RT Mart fascia and 34 under Auchan. The majority were in eastern China (12), followed by 10 each in central and southern China, four each in the north-eastern and western regions and three in northern China.
Third-tier cities are focus for expansion
Third-tier cities are currently home to 44% of Sun Art's stores, and this focus appears set to continue. Of the 157 sites identified for hypermarket complexes over the next three years, 50% are in third-tier cities. Sun Art defines these cities as those at prefecture level which, among other characteristics, have a non-rural population of over 250,000.
Group has positive outlook
Sun Art believes the government's plans for urbanisation and household income growth are positive for retailers, as they should fuel long-term growth of domestic consumption. Sun Art intends to take advantage of the opportunities offered by continued urbanisation, among other priorities, to reinforce its market leading position.