Listed footwear retailer Le Saunda Holdings will fuel its expansion in Hong Kong and China with a string of new store openings this year, having reported a near doubling of profits in its latest financial year. Group president Eddie Wan Tat-wah said the group would open 10 stores in Hong Kong, including outlets for the group's apparel brand, Antinori. In China, it will add about 50 new stores. Most of the expansion will focus on two newer brands - lower-priced footwear brand, Comfort and Easy (CnE), and the high-end, smart-casual women's wear brand, Le Saunda. Mr Wan aims to increase the number of CnE stores from one to six in Hong Kong this year and add 40 franchise outlets in the mainland on top of the 70 such stores already operational. 'Having Antinori stores here will definitely help with our marketing and brand presence in mainland China,' said Mr Wan. The Antinori brand was launched in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou last year. Mr Wan said the group would invest $20 million to $30 million in the venture in Hong Kong and expects the brand to make a significant contribution to profits in three years. Mr Wan put the turnaround in profits down to a revitalised local economy. Net profit for the period ending February 28 rose 97 per cent to $70 million. The group's turnover increased 22 per cent to $568 million. Mr Wan said the company was able to avoid higher costs associated with an appreciating euro by producing its own shoes instead of relying on imports from Italy.