On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to present our annual results for the year ended 31 December 2020.
TURN CRISIS INTO OPPORTUNITIES TO ACHIEVE “HIGH-QUALITY GROWTH”
The year 2020 has been anything but extraordinary. As the Pandemic spread around the world, it had an unprecedented impact on the global economy. Industry depressions happened all over the world, and the international political and economic situation were turbulent. Although vaccines in various countries have been launched one after another, the Pandemic situation remained complicated. Many metrics indicated that despite the impact of the Pandemic, China's economy has gradually returned to normal, and the long-term fundamentals of its economy remained intact.
The Pandemic not only has brought shortterm impact to everyone, but it has also completely changed the way we live. Apart from the strict quarantine and social distancing measures, people also have higher awareness for healthy lifestyle. As a result, people have developed good habit of health consciousness and doing more exercise, creating new opportunities for the sportswear industry around the world. Hence, the sportswear industry has been more resilient to the Pandemic than the rest of the apparel industry. Facing the changing macro-environment, enterprises must learn how to live with the uncertainties. As a leader in the global sportswear industry, ANTA Sports firmly upholds the philosophy of long-termism, the perseverance to our mission and vision, the focus on “Consumer-oriented” strategy, the delivery of “High-quality Growth” and the culture of “Benchmarking with High Standards”, to become a respectable worldclass, multi-brand sportswear group. Under the Pandemic, we overcame numerous difficulties while maintaining the strategy of "Long-term Preparation", "Dynamic Management", "Reconstruction of Mind", as well as "Optimizing Standards". We will continue with our "Keep Moving" spirit to accelerate the reforms to achieve “Highquality Growth”.
Despite the impact of the Pandemic, we won the must-win battles with the help of a clear strategic direction. During the financial year, our overall revenue and operating profit all recorded positive growth, reaching a new record high since listing. During the financial year, our revenue increased by 4.7% to RMB35.5 billion (2019: RMB33.9 billion). Among them, revenue from ANTA segment decreased by 9.7% to RMB15.7 billion, while FILA segment maintained its growth, with revenue increasing by 18.1% to RMB17.5 billion. The new brand incubation model became more mature, and all other brands’ revenue increased by 35.4% to RMB2.3 billion. Meanwhile, the overall profit from operations increased by 5.3% to RMB9.2 billion (2019: RMB8.7 billion). On a consolidated basis, without the effect of share of loss of a joint venture, the profit attributable to equity shareholders decreased by 3.6% to RMB5.8 billion (2019: RMB6.0 billion). On a consolidated basis, with the effect of share of loss of a joint venture, the profit attributable to equity shareholders decreased by 3.4% to RMB5.2 billion (2019: RMB5.3 billion).
On the margin side, the overall gross profit margin increased to 58.2% (2019: 55.0%) and the overall operating profit margin increased to 25.8% (2019: 25.6%). Both achieving record high implied our success in retail strategy, high efficiency in cost control and a matured multi-brand business model. On a consolidated basis, without the effect of share of loss of a joint venture, the margin of profit attributable to equity shareholders was 16.2% (2019: 17.6%). On a consolidated basis, with the effect of share of loss of a joint venture, the margin of profit attributable to equity shareholders was 14.5% (2019: 15.8%). For the year ended 31 December 2020, free cash inflow increased by 3.0% to RMB6.6 billion, represents our healthy cash generation capability under the Pandemic. Additionally, our total amount of cash and cash equivalents, fixed deposits held at banks with maturity over three months and pledged deposits has reached RMB20.3 billion. Despite the impact brought by the Pandemic, we still recorded a healthy liquidity and sufficient cash level, showing that we had sufficient risk resistant capacity. The Board has recommended a final dividend of HK47 cents per ordinary share in respect of the financial year, subject to the approval by shareholders of the Company at the forthcoming AGM. The dividend payout ratio was 30.3% of the profit attributable to equity shareholders during the financial year, bringing in stable and healthy returns to our shareholders.
ADHERE TO STRATEGIC THINKING AND FORMED THREE COMPETITIVE GROWTH CURVES
During the financial year, not only have we achieved sustainable financial and operating performance, we have also been selected as a constituent stock of the Hang Seng Index, becoming the only Chinese sportswear company among the constituents of the Hang Seng Index. It was a recognition from the capital market. We adhered to globalized strategic mindset. The strategy of “ Singlefocus, Multi-brand, Omni-channel” was successful , and our “Multi-brand” matrix could meet the differentiated demands of consumer, achieving “Consumer-oriented”. The incubation model of new brands was more mature and formed three competitive growth curves as our growth model. The first curve was the cornerstone growth curve, featuring ANTA as the core with a focus on "Mass, Professional, New National Products"; the second curve was the highquality, high-growth curve, featuring the elegant FILA brand as the core; the third curve is the high potential growth curve, featuring the international outdoor brands such as DESCENTE as the core. In the future, each brand will develop the business based on various phases of its respective growth curve to drive the sustainability of ANTA Sports.
“Benchmarking with High Standards” was our culture, which was also our strategy and weapon to maintain our market competitiveness. No matter what brand we work with or what position we are in, we must push our limits to the highest standards. We also constantly review internal problems and dare to make changes, and always push for reforms and upgrades pragmatically. We continuously work on developing our brands to become bigger and stronger to compete against our global peers.
OPTIMIZE CORE COMPETITIVENESS, UPGRADE GLOBAL MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES
The post-pandemic era changed our consumption habits, which created challenges and opportunities in the consumer market. Enterprises must redefine the concept of "Customers, Products and Channels" to keep their long-term competitive edges. However, the “Consumer-oriented” approach remains the only core element that will never change amid such reforms. Consumers expect to enjoy better consumption experiences, and by integrating online and offline channels we can create a faster and more convenient experience and service to the consumers. Meanwhile, the Pandemic has made e-commerce more important and formed a new consumption trend. We have been investing in online platforms and social media to enhance our presence in online business. During the financial year, the revenue from e-commerce business increased by 53% as compared to 2019 in terms of absolute amount, representing our effective online strategy. In spite of the transformation of the importance among the distribution channels, the consumer-centric approach remains the only core elements that will never change. Consumer-centric effectively helps our brands enhance connections and interactions with every consumer group, gradually becoming the most desirable sportswear brands among consumers. During the financial year, we also increased investment in DTC model for ANTA. We have optimized our resources through the dimensions of "Customers, Products and Channels", which compiles a more effective information flow that connects production to the consumers in the value chain, allowing us to be more sensitive to the changes in demand and produce high-quality products meeting customer needs. At the same time, through a more streamlined channel structure, we can deliver quality products to consumers in a more convenient and efficient way, with lower channel costs.
Excellent Chinese companies should come with core capabilities including cultural and brand confidence, as well as world-class innovation. We continue to improve on our products quality, retail efficiency and brand equity by continuously launching competitive and technologically advanced products with innovative marketing campaigns. We believe that digital transformation is the key to outperform in the future competition. Hence, we aim to become a sportswear group with strong digitalization capability. With the wellplanned digital strategy, we are confident of achieving “High-quality Growth” and becoming a successful global enterprise.
MISSION DRIVEN, 30+ BEYOND FANTASTIC
We are not satisfied in just being a leading brand in China, but we also strive to become a world-class brand. During the financial year, we have strengthened our international presence and deepened our international cooperation. We also work together to promote the Olympic spirit in encouraging people to fight against the Pandemic with positive attitude and the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will spur the consumption demands of winter sports. In addition, we have closely worked with investors of the consortium and the management of Amer Sports since the beginning of the Pandemic outbreak to pave its way to recovery. The consortium have finetuned and optimized the organizational structure of Amer Sports to solidify its fundamentals. We are confident that the accelerated integration of the global sports industry will help leading brands to gain bigger market share.
The year 2021 is the 30th anniversary of ANTA Sports. The mission, vision, core capabilities, and what kind of social responsibilities should be undertaken in the future are the questions we need to ask and answer for the 30th anniversary. Motivating the company to move towards the goal of sustainable development was our directions in the next 10, 20 years and longer term. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all shareholders for their continued support, and to express our gratitude to all employees who have contributed to our growth during this difficult period.
Ding Shizhong Chairman Hong Kong, 24 March 2021