TOKYO (AFP) – Fast Retailing, the parent company of Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo, posted a record full-year net profit yesterday thanks to the weak yen and a rebound in demand after virus lockdowns.
For the year to August 2022, the retail behemoth logged a net profit of JPY273 billion (USD1.86 billion), but forecast a more modest JPY230 billion for 2022-23.
“Sales recovered steadily in all markets in which we operate thanks to a steady recovery in demand for clothing now that the COVID-19 pandemic is being brought under control,” the company said in a statement. Efforts to “strengthen global branding”, and mounting an agile response to production and distribution challenges also helped boost profits, it said.
The yen’s dramatic fall – from around JPY115 against the dollar in February to over JPY138 in late August – was a boon for the company, which has Uniqlo stores in 25 countries and regions.
But “profits were at record levels both before and after accounting for foreign exchange rate movements”, the firm noted.
Following years of aggressive global expansion, Fast Retailing is one of the world’s biggest clothing retailers, rivalling Spanish giant Inditex, which owns Zara, and Sweden’s H&M.