Fast Re­tail­ing in record an­nual profit

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Foreign News -

TOKYO: Ja­pan’s Fast Re­tail­ing Co Ltd, owner of cloth­ing chain Uniqlo, notched up a record an­nual op­er­at­ing profit and fore­cast a 13.4% rise this fi­nan­cial year on the back of strong growth in Asia.

Asia’s big­gest cloth­ing re­tailer pre­dicted op­er­at­ing profit to come in at 200 bil­lion yen (US$1.8bil) for the year through Au­gust on a 10.1% rise in sales.

Profit for the year just ended grew 39% to 176.4 bil­lion yen, as brisk busi­ness at Uniqlo’s over­seas stores off­set a lack­lus­tre per­for­mance do­mes­ti­cally. That was just be­low a 180 bil­lion yen Thom­son Reuters Starmine SmartEs­ti­mate, based on es­ti­mates of 16 an­a­lysts.

At the re­tailer’s Uniqlo di­vi­sion, op­er­at­ing profit gar­nered abroad grew 95.4%, while do­mes­ti­cally it fell 6.4%. At its global brands unit, which does not in­clude Uniqlo, profits grew 48%. But its low-priced GU stores saw profits fall as the brand strug­gled to repli­cate ru­n­away hits such as 990 yen jeans and gau­cho pants that drove its rapid ex­pan­sion in ear­lier years.

The com­pany is over­haul­ing its lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tions to re­duce the need for dis­count­ing and boost e-com­merce sales, which of­fers one way to squeeze more from Ja­pan’s thrifty shop­pers. — Reuters

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