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China Daily Website

Chinese sport companies on the upswing

Updated: 2013-08-23 15:29

To the world of sports and business. A number of top Chinese sportgear makers have released their mid-year reports over the past couple of days, showing that the industry might be on the upswing. The sportsware business in the country has lost quite some ground after flying high during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Our reporter Zhang Tao finds out they are jumping and kicking again.

Industry giants Peak, Lining and Anta say revenues were still declining in the first half of the year. Peak says its profit rose 28 percent in the first half of this year compared with the second half of 2012. Lining says it has cut inventory by 30 percent over the last year, and Anta says its orders for next spring are up following a slump since last autumn.

"The market is growing, but it is becasue many companies are trying to stimulate demand."Zhang Zheng, marketing manager of Shanghai Sanfo Outdoor Products.

Most of the profit jump comes from savings through store closures. The companies shut a combined 3,800 sportswear stores in China last year, an average of 13 shops a day. The closures follow a rapid expansion between the 2008 Olympics and 2011. While they are spending less on retail space, they are spending more to promote sports.

"There are a lot of sports events, such as crowd running. If you run with your friends for a certain period of time, organizers will give you a set of sport gears for free. If I think it is good, I will buy more." said a customer Xu Pengfei.

Zhang said organizing sporting events has become an important way for sporting good companies to expand their market share.

"Whether the market grows or not largely depends on how many people work out. Domestic companies now do not only make products, but also organize a lot of sports events."said Zhang Zheng.

The companies say they plan to spend 10 percent more organizing sporting events for amateurs and professionals this year.