• First half net income rose 10.7% to ENY2.2bn
  • Revenue increased 15.4% to CNY16bn
  • Gross margin declined to 56.6% from 57%

Chinese footwear and sportswear group Belle International reported a rise in first-half net income, despite the group seeing a decline in consumer confidence.

The company, which distributes brands including Nike, Adidas, Kappa, PUMA, Converse and Mizuno, said net income over the first half rose 10.7% to CNY2.2bn. Revenue increased 15.4% to CNY16bn.

Bell International recorded a 17.2% increase in footwear sales to reach CNY10.2bn, while sportswear revenue grew 12.3% to CNY5.7bn.

Gross margin declined slightly to 56.6% against 57% in the same period of the prior year.

The company said that weakness in the Chinese macroeconomic environment "no doubt had a negative impact on consumer confidence" with retail sales growth slowing. The group emphasised that despite the uncertainty, it has also "observed a certain amount of resilience" in the footwear and apparel markets. It recorded a gradual bottoming out in January and February, but since then there has been a steady recovery, with same-store sales growth picking up in the second quarter from low points in the first quarter.

"This resilience marked a separation from the general trend in the macro economy, supporting our long-term view that the consumer retail market would primarily benefit from the continued rise in spending power and consumption demand of the Chinese consumers," the company said.