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Intime Says Share Plunge Not Related to Its Financial Health

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Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Intime Department Store Group Co. said its financial health was good and it did not have a reason to explain the stock’s biggest drop in almost three years in Hong Kong trading today.

The Chinese retailer plunged 8 percent, the most since December 2008, to HK$10.06 at the 4 p.m. close of trading in Hong Kong. The shares earlier plummeted as much as 27 percent.

Intime, part owned by U.S. private-equity investor Warburg Pincus LLC, expects same-store sales to increase 20 percent this year, Chief Executive Officer Chen Xiaodong said today on a conference call. He said he wasn’t aware of any reason for today’s share price decline.

Sales growth at the operator of 23 department stores across China would be “stable” in the next few years, Chen said. Same-store sales rose more than 20 percent in July and August and “we are confident to achieve growth of more than 20 percent in September,” Chief Financial Officer Yuan Fei said on the same call.

The company’s “fundamentals are very strong,” Yuan said.

Profit climbed 60 percent from a year earlier to 481 million yuan ($75 million) in the six months ended June, according to an Aug. 30 filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Revenue increased 42 percent to 1.6 billion yuan.

Intime opened its first store in Hangzhou, China, in 1998.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marco Lui in Hong Kong at mlui11@bloomberg.net Michael Wei in Shanghai at mwei13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Longid at flongid@bloomberg.net

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