CONSUMER SECTOR-RETAILING：RETAIL SALES UP 10.1% YOY IN MARCH BEATING CONSENSUS
However, the growth rate of total retail sales was down 0.8 ppts YoY. Analyzed by area, retail sales in urban areasand rural areas went up by 9.9% YoY and 10.9% YoY, respectively. Retail sales of enterprises above designatedsize recorded YoY growth of 9.0%.
Total retail sales performance showed strong rebound in March. Broken down by category, within thenecessities category, food, beverages, apparel, household products and medicines all recorded double-digitgrowth during the period. Retail sales of grain, oil and foodstuff increased by 11.2% YoY, partly benefiting fromrising CPI. Performance in property related categories also showed recovery with double-digit increase, of whichhome appliances achieved YoY growth of 15.4%. Consumption upgrade categories maintained strong growth andare strong drivers. Cosmetics and jewellery sales obtained YoY increase of 22.7% and 20.4%, respectively,beating other categories. Automobile sales growth slowed to low single digits on a high base. Total online retailsales of physical goods rose 34.4% YoY in Jan.-Mar. 2018, accounting for 16.1% of total retail sales of consumergoods.
Total retail sales of consumer goods in 1Q18 rose 9.8% YoY, showing a pickup despite weak Jan.- Feb. data. Onthe other hand, according to China Nation Commercial Information Centre, sales of the top 50 retail enterprises inChina increased by 2.6% YoY and 3.8% YoY in 1Q18 and March, up 0.6 ppts YoY and 0.7 ppts YoY, respectively,in line with total retail sales. Consumption upgrade has become a key driver for the retail industry and relatedcategories are achieving rapid growth. In addition, the consumer confident index reached 124.0 in February, thehighest level in the past twenty-five years. Domestic demand is expected to play a more important role in themacro economy in the context of a changing global environment, and we believe that the coming policies,including taxation reduction and business environment improvement, are in favor of consumption growth. We holdthe rating of “Neutral” for the retail industry, we rate “Outperform” for the Consumer Sector - Apparel, ConsumerSector - Food & Beverage and Consumer Sector - Household Products. We have a “Buy” rating for HenganInternational （01044 HK） with a TP of HK$88.00 in the Consumer Sector – Household Products and “Buy” rating for Haier Electronics （01169 HK） with a TP of HK$32.93 in the Consumer Sector – Retailing.
□ .A.n.d.r.e.w. .S.o.n.g .国.泰.君.安.国.际.控.股.有.限.公.司