Household goods chain Pricerite Group plans to open retail outlets in China and more stores in Hong Kong. The move into China follows the group's first profit in four years - HK$13.68 million for the year to March 31 compared with a HK$84.43 million loss the previous year. Pricerite went through a series of changes after its acquisition earlier this year by Celestial Asia Securities Holdings. Executive director and chief executive Thomas Li Yuen-cheuk said the group wanted to establish a presence in China before it entered the World Trade Organisation so it could take advantage of its expanding property market. 'People in the mainland are encouraged to purchase their own properties with the support of government and banks,' he said. 'If the property market is doing well, the demand for household and furniture products will also be increased. This is a golden chance for us.' He said the company expected to open a Shanghai store this year and establish a management and logistics centre. It expected to have retail outlets in the main cities within three years. The group's annual results showed robust growth. 'Turnover rose by 22 per cent over the previous year to HK$892 million,' said chairman Bankee Kwan Pak-hoo. 'And our first profit in four years reflects not just improved sales, but the success of stringent cost controls in warehousing, rental contracts and borrowing reduction. 'We have also significantly improved our logistic, merchandising and inventory management operations.' Mr Li said the economic downturn in Hong Kong had not harmed sales. 'Our goods cater for the mass and low to middle-end consumers. Although the purchasing power of the public has decreased, their demand for value-for-money merchandise has actually increased,' he said. Pricerite's turnover for furniture and other household products rose by 32 and 17 per cent respectively. Stores were opened last week in Tai Po and Wong Tai Sin, bringing the total in the SAR to 45. Three to five new stores are planned next year.