Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing posts record net profit

Tokyo – The operator of Japanese casualwear giant
Uniqlo reported a record annual net profit on Thursday and predicted an even
better performance this year as pandemic-related restrictions ease further

Fast Retailing said business had “recovered markedly” as infections were
contained around the world, including a sharp recovery in sales in Europe and
North America after virus lockdowns were lifted.

In the 12 months to August 2021, the firm posted a better-than-expected net
profit of 169.8 billion yen (1.5 billion dollars), up 88 percent on-year.

A surge in demand for casual clothing and cost-cutting fuelled the bumper
results, with sales up 6.2 percent to 2.13 trillion yen, the company said.

Recovery of demand in key overseas markets across Asia, North America and
Europe should compensate for expected falls in domestic Uniqlo operations in
the current financial year, the company said.

“In the second half, we expect restrictions to ease and normal business
operations to resume,” chief financial officer Takeshi Okazaki said at a press

“Therefore we forecast increasing sales and a significant increase in

The firm predicted net profit of 175 billion yen for the current year to
August 2022 on expected annual sales of 2.2 trillion yen.

However, the firm’s mainstay Uniqlo operations in Japan are expected to
experience a drop from the strong demand seen a year ago, when loungewear and
other “stay-home” items were snapped up en masse, he added.

“There was also a high demand for masks. Those factors are expected to
disappear during this fiscal year,” Okazaki said.

Going forward, chief executive officer Tadashi Yanai said the company would
put renewed focus on building stores near residential areas, in addition to
urban shopping districts.

He voiced concerns about rising raw-material prices, the ongoing pandemic
and on-and-off local lockdowns in some countries.

“For (the past) year, I believe everyone in the company worked hard in this
difficult environment,” Yanai said.

“But the coronavirus pandemic has not ended. We just cannot tell what will
happen when.” (AFP)


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