Uniqlo's holding company Fast Retailing saw its quarterly profits grow again, as growth in Europe and elsewhere was bigger than a disappointing evolution in Japan and China.
The results mark the end of an era for Uniqlo, in which Japan and China were the main drivers for turnover and profit growth. In the latest quarter, the coronavirus situation weighed down sales in China, while the unusually warm weather in Japan hampered sales of the autumn and winter collection. Sales in Southern Asia, North America and Europe, meanwhile, reached record heights.
In the first quarter of its broken financial year, which starts in September, global sales went up 1.2 % to 627.4 billion yen (4.77 billion euros), allowing operational profit to climb 5.6 % to 119.4 billion yen (900 million euros). Those results were significantly better than what analysts had expected, Reuters reports.
The Japanese fashion company counts on a gradual recovery in China, as the local vaccination campaign gets better results. The opening, in November, of its third megastore on the Chinese mainland signals a wave of store openings: Uniqlo hopes to open several hundred stores in the coming few years.
For the full financial year, which ends in August, Fast Retailing still expects an operational profit of 270 billion yen (over two billion euros), which would be an increase of more than 8 % compared to the year before.