Jeweller Chow Tai Fook H1 profit up 92.3 pct, beats forecast

November 26, 2013

* First-half net profit hits $452.6 million

* Revenue rose 48.5 percent to HK$37.77 billion

* Same-store sales in China, HK, Macau show strong growth

HONG KONG, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd, the world's largest jewellery retailer by market value, posted a 92.3 percent rise in net profit for the six months ended in September, thanks to falling gold prices and buyers who ignored slower economic growth and a crackdown on luxury spending in China.

The Hong Kong-listed company, which competes with Cartier and Tiffany & Co, on Tuesday posted a net profit of HK$3.51 billion ($452.63 million) for April-September period. That compared to a HK$1.82 billion profit the same period a year ago and an average forecast of HK$3.14 billion from eight analysts polled by Reuters.

China is set to overtake India as the top gold consumer this year and is already ahead on a rolling four-quarter basis.

Chow Tai Fook, which also competes against smaller Luk Fook , said last month that it expected net profit for the six-month period to jump significantly due to strong sales of gold products and reduced effects of unrealised hedging losses on gold loans.

Revenue for the April-September period rose 48.5 percent year on year to HK$37.77 billion. Overall same-store sales grew 33.2 percent. China same-store sales grew 21.5 percent and Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan same store sales grew 47 percent.

The company's same-store sales grew 48 percent in the April-June quarter, with China surging 32 percent, while Hong Kong and Macau climbing 68 percent.

Luk Fook and smaller rival King Fook Holdings are due to release their fiscal first half results later this week.

Chow Tai Fook shares have fallen 1.1 percent this year, lagging a 4.5 percent gain in the benchmark index.