• 9M profit soars 69% to JPY120.1bn (US$1.09bn)
  • Sales grow 3.5% to JPY1.48bn
  • Q3 earnings drop slightly to JPY22.9bn

Higher sales and a foreign exchange gain helped boost earnings for Fast Retailing, owner of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, in the first nine months of the year.

For the period to the end of May, net profit soared 69% to JPY120.1bn (US$1.09bn) from JPY71bn a year earlier thanks to a scaling-up of cost-cutting efforts and a foreign exchange gain of JPY13.3bn. Consolidated gross profit margin improved 0.7 points year-on-year.

Net sales, meanwhile, grew 3.5% to JPY1.48bn. For the third quarter, sales were up 9% to JPY460.4bn, while net profit dropped slightly to JPY22.9bn from JPY24bn a year earlier.

Uniqlo International generated increases in both revenue and profit, growing 17.4% to JPY168.7bn, and 50.8% to JPY19.3bn, respectively.

Uniqlo Japan reported a rise in revenue but a contraction in profit in the period, with revenue up 1.2% year-on-year to JPY653.4bn while operating profit dipped 0.6% to JPY92.6bn.

In the brand's international market, both revenue and profit were up, expanding 5.4% to JPY561.5bn, and 61.3% to JPY68.1bn, respectively.

The group's global brands – Theory, Comptoir Des Cotonniers, Princesse Tam.Tam and Gu – saw revenues increase 2.6% year-on-year to JPY260.9bn, while operating profit contracted 17% to JPY19.1bn.

"In the third quarter from March to May, Uniqlo Southeast Asia and Oceania and Uniqlo South Korea performed extremely well to report a doubling in operating profit," the company said in a statement. "Profits continued to expand at Uniqlo Greater China thanks to successful sales campaigns timed to draw in customers over May Day and other public holidays, and strong sales of UT T-shirts, polo shirts and other core summer ranges."