Uniqlo owner cuts outlook after warm winter sees operating profit fall 30 per cent - but company confident new Oxford Street store will "serve as a beacon for new London culture"

William Turvill
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UNIQLO 311 Oxford Street Store Opens To The Public
Uniqlo's new London store opened on Oxford Street last month (Source: Getty)

A warm winter has been bad news for Uniqlo globally. But things are going okay in Europe. And its Japanese owner, Fast Retailing, is especially hopeful for the brand's future in the UK.

The results noted that a new store opening on Oxford Street in London has "attracted a great deal of attention, with the store poised to serve as a beacon for new London culture".

The figures

Fast Retailing has cut its outlook today and expects an operating profit of ¥ 120bn (£789m) in the year to August 2016.

This is down from ¥ 180bn forecast in January and ¥ 200bn in October last year.

In the six months to 29 February, the company reported operating profit of ¥ 99.3bn, down 33.8 per cent from ¥ 150bn in the same period a year before.

Uniqlo International reported a 12.7 per cent increase in revenue to ¥ 389.2bn, but operating profit fell 31.4 per cent to ¥ 29.4bn.

Operating profit at Uniqlo Japan fell 28.3 per cent to ¥ 64.1bn and revenue fell 0.2 per cent to ¥ 453.6bn.

Why it's interesting

Fast Retailing said Uniqlo profits declined in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea and reported expanding losses in the United States.

It said all of these operations were "adversely affected by warm winter weather" and that sales were hit especially hard in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea due to “sluggish economic conditions”.

But Fast Retailing reported Uniqlo gains in revenue and profit, broadly in line with forecasts, in Europe, South East Asia and Oceania.

What the company said

A strong reception for the first Uniqlo store in Belgium in October 2015 contributed to the brand’s growing success in Europe. The March 2016 opening of the newly refurbished 311 Oxford Street global flagship store has also attracted a great deal of attention, with the store poised to serve as a beacon for new London culture.