• FY net profit up 3.2%
  • Gross margin of 57.5%
  • Sales grow 10.3%

Belle International Holdings, China's largest retailer of women's footwear, has booked an increase in earnings and sales for its full-year.

In the 12 months to the end of December, net profit climbed 3.2% to CNY4.49bn (US$736.2m) from CNY4.35bn a year ago.

Gross margin was up at 57.5% from 56.6% in the prior year period.

The company said it benefited from a less promotionally-driven retail environment during the year, resulting in less discounting. Purchase costs were also reduced due to brand companies providing more subsidies and support to distributors, it said.

Net sales were up 10.3% to CNY36.25bn from CNY32.86bn. Revenue from the firm's footwear business increased 5.9%, although this was "significantly lower than prior years", Belle said, blaming weak same store sales growth, a slowdown in new store expansion and the discontinuation of a brand.

In the sportswear business, sales grew 18.3% due to its acquisition of Chinese rival Longhao Tiandi Corporation in September last year.