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Fast Retailing to expand in US as profits climb

Fast Retailing, the owner of Japanese casual clothing brand Uniqlo, said its net profit climbed 38.7% in the six months to end February, following strong sales both at home and overseas.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Fast Retailing to expand in US as profits climb

Fast Retailing, the owner of Japanese casual clothing brand Uniqlo, said its net profit climbed 38.7% in the six months to end February, following strong sales both at home and overseas.

While net profit rose to 57.8 billion yen (£450 million) in the period, total sales increased by 14.9% to 525.5 billion yen (£4.1 billion).

In Japan, sales of core winter items such as the popular "Heattech" products were strong especially since the weather turned cold in December. Same-store sales in the country increased by 2.3% helping to reverse the downward trend in profit seen in the first quarter.

A total of 55 new stores were opened in the period, the majority being in Asia, which brought the total number of Uniqlo international stores to 234 by the end of February 2012. In addition the company launched flagship stores in New York, Seoul and Taipei, which increased the visibility of the Uniqlo brand worldwide.

The company is planning to expand in the US by opening between 20 and 30 stores on the West Coast in and around San Francisco and Los Angeles. In Europe it will launch stores in a number of major cities including Berlin, Milan and Barcelona.

Fast Retailing said it is forecasting that sales will rise 14.8% year-on-year to 945.1 billion yen (£7.33 billion) for the full year ending August, up from its previous forecast of 937.0 billion yen (£7.27 billion).
 

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