China’s Sun Art Retail Group to Invest $150M in Ecommerce Development

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Hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group Ltd said on Thursday it plans to invest $150.6 million (1 billion RMB) in ecommerce development over the next two years, reports Reuters

The joint venture between Taiwanese conglomerate Ruentex Group and French retailer Groupe Auchan SA said net profit was $211.11 million (1.43 billion yuan) in January to June, down from 1.47 billion yuan profit in the first half of 2015.

Sun Art’s first-quarter profit was 1.03 billion yuan.

“The competitive environment of retail industry is driven by the rapid growth in ecommerce while retail market consolidation is still challenging,” it said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse.

In February, it said it would scale back on new store openings in the mainland this year as it grapples with a challenging retail environment, while it expects a greater contribution to sales from ecommerce.

Executive director Peter Huang, speaking at an earnings briefing, also said he expects the company’s ecommerce business to break even in 2020-2021.

A version of this appeared in Reuters on August 10. Read the full version here.