Chinese hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group, the local venture of French retailer Auchan, has recorded an increase in profits for its full-year.

Earnings in the 12 months to the end of December amounted to CNY2.41bn (US$387.6m), a 50.6% increase on last year, the company reported today (18 March). Sun Art attributed the growth to an increase in the operating margin by 0.2 percentage points and a decrease in finance costs.

Operating profit in the period was up 21.1% to CNY3.52bn, while net sales grew 14.3% to reach CNY77.85.

The group opened 43 stores across China in the 12 month period: nine were under the Auchan banner and 34 were under the RT-Mart banner bringing the total number of stores to 273.