* Shares rise after strong results and dividend hike
* Seals deal with Fosun for ski dome in China
* Eyes further expansion in China with Fosun and others
By Dominique Vidalon
PARIS, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Compagnie des Alpes said plans to build and operate a snow dome in the Shanghai region with Fosun, as China prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, showed the French ski resort operator was making progress there.
“The partnership on the snow dome ... shows that Fosun is our partner and we are Fosun’s partner. Maybe one day, an equity-based partnership will be facilitated because we work together,” Compagnie des Alpes’ chairman and chief executive Dominique Marcel told Reuters on Tuesday.
Marcel earlier told an annual results news conference that Compagnie des Alpes had the means to develop on its own, with Fosun not for now likely to become a shareholder.
Compagnie des Alpes, which runs 11 ski resorts in France and 13 leisure parks in Europe, expects to expand further in China through new industrial partnerships with Fosun or others.
“We are making headway in China, regardless of the form the partnership is taking,” Marcel said.
On Monday, Compagnie des Alpes posted a record net profit of 57.2 million euros and a 30 percent dividend hike, driving a 5.6 percent rise in its share price on Tuesday.
Compagnie des Alpes wants to expand abroad, especially in high-growth markets such as China, and it has been looking for partners to help. Fosun could be a good ally as it owns French holiday company Club Med.
However, talks on Fosun taking a stake in CDA, which first started nearly three years ago, were put on hold before the May 2017 presidential election in France.
French politicians and local officials in the French Alps had voiced concerns about French regions losing control of ski resorts to foreign companies.
State-owned Caisse des Depots, which is the group’s main shareholder with a 39.5 percent stake, has said it would remain as the key investor and keep the company anchored in France. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Alexander Smith)