Chinese retailer Wumart Stores has reported a 20% increase in first-half profits on the back of improved sales and the opening of more stores.

In the six months ending 30 June, Wumart’s net profit was CNY336.8m (US$52.7m), up from CNY280.3m a year earlier.

Sales grew to CNY7.9bn from CNY6.7bn in the same half of the previous year. Comparable-store sales increased by around 12%, Wumart said. The results were further boosted by 38 new stores. At the end of June, Wumart ran 512 outlets.

Looking ahead, Wumart said: “Facing the steady growth and fierce competitive landscape in the retail industry, the group will continue to thoroughly integrate all resources and explore its scale advantage, enhance its operational level, lower its operating costs, enhance logistics operations efficiency, and adhere to the use of strong IT technology.”

“[Wumart] will also actively optimise and adjust the structure of its team to maintain and enhance the company’s competitiveness and generate better returns to the shareholders.”