Fast Retailing gets boost from Uniqlo

JAPAN’S Fast Retailing yesterday forecast a 16 per cent rise in annual operating profit thanks to higher sales at its domestic Uniqlo outlets and expansion of the budget clothing chain, after posting its first profit rise in six quarters.

Asia’s top apparel retailer is expanding overseas to offset slowing growth in Japan due to persistent deflation and increased competition.

The company said operating profits rose 33 per cent to ¥11.8bn (£90m) in the fourth quarter

“The year to August 2012 numbers are based on assumptions of overseas profits rising, so it all depends on how the overseas expansion goes,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management.