TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s Fast Retailing said yesterday that sales at its Uniqlo stores abroad had outstripped domestic demand for the first time, as Asia’s biggest retailer delivered quarterly earnings that beat market expectations.
Driven by a strong performance in China and the wider Asia region, overseas sales at the cheap-chic Uniqlo chain soared by nearly one third to 258 billion yen ($2.3 billion), just beating the 257 billion yen from domestic sales.
Uniqlo also saw solid revenue growth in the United States, France and Russia.
Total net profit came in at 78.5 billion yen in the three months to November, up 12.7 per cent from the same period the preceding year, said Fast Retailing, a rival to Zara, Gap and H&M.
The result beat a median forecast of 63 billion yen from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, operating profit jumped 28.6 per cent to 113.9 billion yen as sales gained 16.7 per cent.
“Uniqlo Japan generated higher-than-forecast profit from buoyant demand for its staple fall/winter 2017 products, while Uniqlo International revenue also rose significantly,” the firm said in a statement.
A cheaper yen boosted raw material costs but also inflated the yen-denominated value of assets held overseas.
Fast Retailing left its forecasts for its full year to August 2018 unchanged.
It sees net profit of 120 billion yen on sales of 2.05 trillion yen, a 10 per cent year-on-year gain as it aims to open more stores outside Japan.