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China Nepstar Chain Drugstore Reports First Quarter 2009 Financial Results
Date:5/27/2009

of 2009 was 48.2%, as compared to 47.7% for the same period in 2008 and 50.7% on pro forma basis. The decrease in gross margin compared with that of pro forma basis was largely due to the price adjustments of certain price sensitive products to maintain competitiveness and to address the changing consumer consumption pattern as a result of worsened economic environment.

Sales, marketing and other operating expenses as a percentage of revenue for the first quarter of 2009 increased to 41.0% compared to 35.8% in the first quarter of 2008 and 38.3% on a pro forma basis. The increase was primarily due to an increase in the proportion of newly opened stores in the Company's store base. Also, we incurred costs of RMB1.4 million associated with store closures in the first quarter of 2009. However, sales, marketing and other operating expenses dropped for the second consecutive quarter in absolute amount since the fourth quarter 2008 due to effective cost control measures, particularly in head-count reduction and renegotiation of rental terms.

General and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue for the first quarter of 2009 was 4.6% compared to 4.4% for the first quarter of 2008 and 5.0% on a pro forma basis. The decrease compared to pro forma basis was also primarily due to efficient cost control measures.

Operating income for the first quarter of 2009 was RMB13 million (US$2 million) compared to RMB41 million for the first quarter of 2008 and RMB34 million on a pro forma basis.

The Company's effective tax rate was 26.5% for first quarter of 2009, compared to 24.5% for the first quarter of 2008. The increase in effective tax rate was primarily due to (i) higher tax rates that certain of the Company's subsidiaries are subject to under the new PRC corporate income tax law, and (ii) an increase in the deferred tax asset valuation allowance for tax loss carry forwards, the benefits of w
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SOURCE China Nepstar Chain Drugstore Ltd.
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