|Uniqlo predicts profit rise in HK, reports record income
Cheap-chic clothing chain Uniqlo, which operates stores in Hong Kong said annual net profit jumped 26.1 percent to a record.
Fast Retailing said it earned 90.38 billion yen (US$930 million) in its financial year to August, as sales surged 23.1 percent to 1.14 trillion yen, topping the trillion-yen mark for the first time.
Last month, the Japanese company said it was branching out to Australia, with a store in Melbourne next year, as it opened a huge branch in Shanghai.
The new store openings are part of an international expansion. It has more than 1,200 outlets worldwide. There are about 800 shops in Japan.
Uniqlo's sister brand, GU, will have a spot inside the Shanghai store, its first foray into foreign markets.
Uniqlo's operator said it expected to see profit rise by more than 30 percent in its mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan business.
However, the company warned that promotional programs for thrifty, bargain-hunting shoppers in the key Japanese market were squeezing profit margins – operating profit for shops at home slipped 5.4 percent over the year.
The company's Tokyo-listed shares, which are up about 58 percent so far this year, slipped 0.57 percent to 34,550 yen. Its results were announced after markets closed.—AFP