Total revenues at Hutchison Whampoa’s AS Watson retail division shrank 2% to HK$116.09bn (£9.81bn) for the 2009 full year, but climbed 5% on a constant currency basis.

However, EBIT soared 30% to HK$5.69bn (£480.7m) due to continued improvement in costs, operational efficiency and cautious expansion.

AS Watson plans to double its number of stores in China from 500 to 1,000 by the end of 2011.