Chaifa Holdings chairman John Chan Chun-tung has forecast double-digit growth to continue on strong sales in China. The garment manufacturer - which saw a scramble on its stock earlier this month after it posted a 53 per cent rise in attributable profit to $58.32 million and issued 23 million new shares - said yesterday it planned to continue its aggressive push into China's emerging interior. In the year to March, China sales soared 72 per cent, accounting for 94 per cent of the company's total $410.91 million turnover. A brokerage forecast says net profit will grow 20 per cent to $70.4 million on turnover up 19.7 per cent to $492.1 million in the fiscal year to March. 'The Chinese Government . . . is trying to open up the lagging interior regions to investment,' Mr Chan said. 'Sichuan is a good example. It is China's most populous province and it's middle-income bracket is expanding. 'That's our main target - China's rising middle class.' Chaifa, which owns the Playboy garment licence in Hong Kong, China and Macau, has increased its mainland sales outlets to 566 from 77 in 1994. This includes 39 outlets for the upscale Arnold Palmer brand it launched in March. It plans to open 160 more outlets in China over the next year. To fuel its push into the interior, the company will open a 160,000 sq ft factory in Shantou Special Economic Zone, Guangdong, in February next year. The factory, costing 22 million yuan, is expected to triple production and provide a launch base for its own recently registered labels, Catfino ladies' wear and Trotter men's wear. Shares in the company closed up 2.5 cents at $2.25 yesterday.