On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to present our annual results for the year ended 31 December 2021.
BEYOND FANTASY IN 30+
ANTA Sports has been flourishing for the past 30 years and we have made remarkable achievements. Over 30 years of development and leveraging on three growth curves, we have successfully implemented a multi-brand differentiated layout through executing five major strategic decisions: a brand building, public listing, establishing partnerships with the Olympic Games, acquiring FILA business and forming the investor consortium with other investors to acquire Amer Sports. These decisions provided a solid foundation that contributed to our success. 30 years is not only a milestone of our achievements, but also a rallying point for our journey forward.
Although there is still uncertainty around Pandemic and global economic recovery, epidemic prevention and control has gradually become the new norm in people’s daily lives, and healthy lifestyle and participation in sports have formed new trends and brought new development opportunities to the global sportswear industry. We are not only committed to the globalization in terms of market position, brand layout, value chain composition and governance structure, but also committed to continuously enhancing the leading advantage of our brands, and showcasing Chinese brands to the world.
Thanks to China’s proper control of the Pandemic, Chinese economy showed great resilience in 2021, with a steady growth in GDP. Confidence in brands and culture brought huge opportunities to Chinese brands, and personalized and differentiated consumption habit as well as multi-level transformation of online platforms allowed the growth of high-quality and highend niche brands. Under the complex and everchanging internal and external environment, our brands still achieved highquality growth. We have gained phased victories in the Group’s three must-win battles: (i) breakthrough of ANTA to become a brand that captures consumers’ minds, and to be a sportswear brand that is first mentioned by consumers; (ii) in terms of digitalization capabilities, realizing the transformation from empirical decisionmaking to digital decision-making; and (iii) accelerating the growth of online business on top of the high growth in 2020.
UPHOLDING THREE COMPETITIVE GROWTH CURVES TO ACHIEVE HIGH-QUALITY GROWTH
Leveraging the resources and synergy generated by the multi-brand strategy, we have been able to create extra value for consumers over the past 10 years. We have upheld the strategy of “Single-focus, Multibrand, Omni-channel”, which has guided us to victory in several must-win battles. During the financial year, our revenue, gross profit and operating profit all hit record highs since listing. Our overall revenue increased by 38.9% to RMB49.33 billion (2020: RMB35.51 billion), maintaining the leading position of sportswear brands in China with absolute advantage. Revenue from ANTA segment significantly increased by 52.5% to RMB24.01 billion, while FILA segment’s revenue increased by 25.1% to RMB21.82 billion. The new brand incubation model became more mature, and all other brands’ revenue increased by 51.1% to RMB3.49 billion driven by DESCENTE and KOLON SPORT. Meanwhile, the overall gross profit increased by 47.2% to RMB30.40 billion (2020: RMB20.65 billion) with an overall gross profit margin of 61.6% (2020: 58.2%), both hitting a record high. Overall operating profit exceeded RMB10 billion and reached RMB10.99 billion (2020: RMB9.15 billion), with an overall operating profit margin of 22.3% (2020: 25.8%). On a consolidated basis, excluding the effect of the share of loss of a joint venture, the profit attributable to equity shareholders surged by 35.4% to RMB7.80 billion (2020: RMB5.76 billion). On a consolidated basis, with the effect of share of loss of a joint venture, the profit attributable to equity shareholders surged by 49.6% to RMB7.72 billion (2020: RMB5.16 billion).
During the financial year, the Group’s free cash inflow increased by 56.5% to RMB10.37 billion, reflecting a healthy cash generation capability. Moreover, the Group had a total of RMB24.58 billion in total amount of cash and cash equivalents, fixed deposits held at banks with maturity over three months and pledged deposits at the end of the financial year. Net cash position also increased to RMB11.41 billion. The abundant amount of cash reflected our adequate risk resistance ability. In view of an increasingly healthy financial position, the Board has recommended the payment of a final dividend of HK68 cents per ordinary share (subject to the approval by shareholders of the Company at the forthcoming AGM), which is the same as the total dividends per share in 2020. Dividend payout for the financial year was 45.6% of the profit attributable to equity shareholders that include the proposed final dividend of HK68 cents, the declared and paid special interim dividend of HK30 cents for the Group’s 30th anniversary and declared and paid interim dividend of HK60 cents. The payout ratio is at the highest level since 2018, which indicates a stable and healthy return to our shareholders.
We formed the investor consortium with other investors to acquire Amer Sports in March 2019, and swiftly enacted the future growth plan for Amer Sports. Over the past two years, even amid the challenge of the global Pandemic outbreak and supply chain disruptions, Amer Sports continued on a track of acceleration under the relentless efforts of the investor consortium and the management, adhering to the strategy of big brands, big channels and big markets while constantly developing on its e-commerce, DTC and China business. During the financial year, Amer Sports completed the sale of Precor fitness business and announced the sale of Suunto digital instrument business. Furthermore, the revenue and operating profit from the continuing operations of Amer Sports in relation to the core brand’s business exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 2019 and hit a record high. EBITDA of the joint venture holding Amer Sports significantly increased by 46.6% to RMB2.37 billion, with the share of loss to the Group decreasing significantly from RMB601 million in 2020 to RMB81 million during the financial year. We believe that ANTA Sports and Amer Sports will continue to provide better sportswear products, in terms of experiences and satisfaction to consumers, sports enthusiasts and professionals globally.
THE TWO OLYMPIC GAMES ENDED SUCCESSFULLY WITH ANTA SPORTS SUPPORTING THE ATHLETES
ANTA has been a partner of the COC for 16 consecutive years and has always been committed to promoting the Olympic spirit. To seize the opportunity arose from the two recent Olympic Games, we provided the “Champion Dragon Outfit” to the Chinese Olympic athletes that reflected Chinese elements and characteristics of the era, showcasing Chinese manufacturing to the world alongside the Olympic Games, as well as promoting the brand concept of “Sports for Life, ANTA for China” to the world. In addition, ANTA provided outfits for 22 Chinese national teams. From the “Champion Dragon Outfit” to other competition outfits that equipped with advanced technology, ANTA stayed with Chinese athletes to achieve the best overseas Olympic results in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games, and created history at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games with the Chinese teams winning nine gold medals.
The prevalence of ANTA’s outfit was seen across the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. To enable efficient heat storage and speedy warming, the winning outfit for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games were produced with two self-developed fabric technologies: ANTA thermal technology, waterproof and breathable technology. Among the 15 sport disciplines at the Olympics Winter Games, ANTA provided competition outfits for 12 Chinese national teams competing in the Games. The Chinese short track speed skating team, which won the championship at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, wore an outfit with advanced technology. Since 2019, ANTA has deeply partnered with Eileen Gu, who won two gold and one silver medals at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, to develop marketing campaign for women series called “Beauty through Movement”. Other brands also appeared at the Olympic Winter Games, including FILA and DESCENTE.
During the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, ANTA earned extensive brand exposure during key occasions such as the opening and closing ceremonies, award ceremonies, and torch relay. The brand effect of the Olympics Winter Games had also driven the online and offline sales of related products including collection of ANTA champion series, sports shoes with Olympic torch theme and “Ling” ice and snow gift boxes, etc. From 4 February to 15 February 2022, ANTA’s official flagship store ranked top in terms of total merchandise transactions on the T-mall.
DIGITALIZATION IMPROVED THE OPERATIONS WITH BREAKTHROUGHS IN SUPPLY CHAIN AND ONLINE OPERATIONS
Consumer behaviors have changed as a result of the Pandemic, and customers have grown accustomed to shopping on online platforms, making e-commerce the primary arena for consumer products. As a result, we have increased our digitalization investments and stepped up our efforts in providing consumers with a faster and more convenient online shopping experience, particularly in the areas of membership value, official e-commerce stores, consumer targeting and public traffic to private traffic transformation. During the financial year, our e-commerce revenue contributed 29% (2020: 26%) of the Group’s overall revenue, an increase of 50% in terms of absolute amount over 2020, and achieved strong growth despite a high base last year. In addition, we effectively made good use of social media platforms to launch marketing campaigns, used content seeding to drive traffic to the online stores and allocated resources to different marketing content.
During the financial year, we launched a digital platform to upgrade our supply chain efficiency. Through the Internet of Things, digitalization, and smart infrastructure, we have constructed a comprehensive value chain system that enable smoother data exchange between suppliers, brands, distributors, retail stores and consumers, which allows us to integrate operation and data in building a decision-making model based on big data. Through digitalization and O2O model, we integrated the online and offline inventory system, which helped accelerate the product distribution process, reduce operational costs and maximize inventory efficiency. This has also empowered the growth of all brands. In addition, we have cooperated with scientific research organizations such as Tsinghua University, in bringing together global quality strategic suppliers, and established strategic partnerships with international leading material and chemical suppliers to build an innovation platform, integrating internal and external resources.
To enhance O2O model, we continued to improve the service quality, efficiency and effectiveness of our logistics management. During the financial year, we established a retail logistics network of regional warehouses and cloud warehouses, unified the standards procedures of each warehouse, and increased the efficiency as well as the number of stores that can do direct delivery from warehouses through the full operation of Southern China warehouses, Southwestern China warehouses and various digital tools. The network also enhanced the operational efficiency of DTC. In addition, the second phase of logistics center started construction during the financial year, which will support the high-quality growth and development of our brands.
STRIVING AHEAD AND KEEP MOVING
We are determined to move forward and capture opportunities based on our insights. We see a broad market with huge potential in China’s sportswear industry, and only companies that can meet the demands and experiences of consumers, take initiative to fulfil social responsibilities, and continuously optimize business efficiency can “Lead to Win” in the future. We will continue to set our “Benchmarking with High Standard”, meaning that we will not focus on past successes, but be ready to achieve further by “Starting from Zero”.
Although the Pandemic is raging, we use a “Dynamic Management” strategy to manage the external uncertainties, and align to our “Strategic Goals” and “Cultural Values” so we may respond to changes effectively. During the financial year, we were included in the “Hang Seng New Consumption Index” and became one of the top 10 weighting constituent stocks which was another recognition from the capital market of our successful strategy.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all Shareholders for your support, and to pay high tribute to the stakeholders and all employees who have grown with us along the way. Under our new ten-year strategy of “Single-Focus, Multi-Brand, Globalization”, we are confident these right strategies will drive us to more milestones and create greater value for our shareholders amid the communities.
Ding Shizhong Chairman Hong Kong, 22 March 2022