China's Li Ning posts 1st-half loss of 184 million yuan

HONG KONG -Li Ning Co Ltd, China's best known sportswear firm backed by U.S. private equity firm TPG Capital, on Monday reported a smaller-than-expected first-half loss compared with a small profit in the same period a year ago as it was working to clean up inventory and restructure its operations.

The company, competing with larger domestic rival ANTA Sports Products as well as Adidas and Nike , said its loss totaled 184.2 million yuan ($30.08 million) for the January-June period, compared to a 44.3 million yuan profit in the same period a year ago.

The result beat an average forecast of a 241 million yuan loss by three analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

China's home-grown sportswear industry is showing signs of recovery after nearly two years of massive oversupply, and industry watchers are betting ANTA Sports will be first out of the blocks.

$1 = 6.1230 Chinese yuan

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