Japanese retail giant Fast Retailing saw both earnings and sales rise in its last fiscal year, boosted by a strong result from the company’s Uniqlo operations.
Revenues in the year ended August 2018 reached JPY2.13trn (US$19bn), representing growth of 14.4% year-on-year. The result was boosted by “significant” profit contributions from the Uniqlo brand both at home and abroad.
Net profit, meanwhile, amounted to JPY154.8m, representing an increase of 29.8% on the prior year period.
At home, Uniqlo revenue rose 6.7% to JPY864.7bn, while operating profit grew 24.1% to JPY119bn. Full-year same-store sales rose 6.2% thanks to consistent growth in both the first and second half. The former was extremely strong at 8.4%, thanks to strong sales of cold-weather clothing.
Gross profit margin improved on strong overall segment performance, while business expense ratios also improved.
International revenues, meanwhile, were up 26.6% to JPY896.3bn, surpassing domestic sales for the first time this fiscal year. Operating profit jumped 62.6% to JPY118.8bn, thanks to considerable gains in all regions.
Global brands saw earnings climb 9.5% to JPY154.4bn, while business profit – a good measure of fundamental profitability – totalled JPY6.2bn, representing year-on-year growth of 49.2%, supported largely by profit gains at Theory.
However, the segment reported an operating loss of JPY4.1bn after recording impairment losses of JPY9.9bn on Comptoir des Cotonniers and other labels.
For fiscal 2019, the company is expecting another record overall performance, stemming from revenue and profit gains at all four business segments. Consolidated revenue growth of 8% is forecast to JPY2.3trn, and profit attributable to owners of the parent at JPY165bn, representing growth of 6.6%.