Li & Fung Net Rises 16% on Improved Sales to U.S.

Li & Fung Ltd., the world’s largest supplier of clothes and toys to retailers, reported first-half profit rose 16 percent as revenue from the U.S. climbed.

Net income rose to $111.4 million in the six months that ended in June from a restated $96.4 million a year earlier, the company led by billionaire Chairman William Fung said today in a statement to the Hong Kong’s stock exchange. Sales increased 3 percent to $8.7 billion.

Li & Fung, whose customers include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., last month completed a separation from its brand-management unit. The Hong Kong-based company also restructured LF USA and discontinued some of its less profitable brands before folding the American business into Global Brands Group Holding Ltd. that began trading on July 9.

The brand-management unit, which manages more than 350 labels, including Coach Inc. shoes, and licenses characters such as Angry Birds and Spider-Man, had been a drag on Li & Fung’s finances, according to Chris Zee, an analyst at HSBC. The company intends to focus more on its core businesses of supplying clothes and toys to global retailers, Li & Fung said in advance of the spinoff.

Shares of Li & Fung rose 1 percent to close at HK$10.48 in Hong Kong before the earnings announcement. The stock has climbed 28 percent this year, compared with the benchmark Hang Seng Index’s 7.2 percent rise.

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