Uniqlo owner raises forecast for 3rd consecutive year of record profits By Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Fast Retailing, the owner of clothing brand Uniqlo, said on Thursday its third-quarter operating profit surged 31%, buoyed by strong sales at home.

Profit rose to 144.7 billion yen ($894.81 million) in the three months to May 31 from 110.3 billion yen in the year-earlier period. The consensus forecast was for earnings of 127.1 billion yen, based on a LSEG poll of six analysts.

The company raised its full-year profit forecast to 475 billion yen from 450 billion yen.

Uniqlo is renowned for its quality, affordable basics, and Fast Retailing is benefiting from a slide in the yen to a 38-year low that has boosted the value of its overseas sales.

The company is plotting an aggressive growth trajectory in Greater China, North America and Europe, taking advantage of a post-pandemic shift among many consumers for value over luxury.

With more than 900 stores in mainland China, Fast Retailing is a bellwether for global retailers operating in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Through the nine-month period, operations in Greater China saw a decline in revenue and a large drop in profit, due in part to strong performance the previous year and a general slowdown in consumer appetite, the company said.

Fast Retailing shares have risen about 26% so far this year, about even with the advance in the benchmark gauge.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A shopper looks on, inside a Fast Retailing's Uniqlo casual clothing store in Tokyo, Japan January 11, 2023. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

($1 = 161.7100 yen)

(This story has been corrected to change profit gain to 31% from 29% in the headline and paragraph 1)

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