Casual clothing giant Fast Retailing Co Ltd on Thursday revealed a steep plunge in full-year profit amid sliding sales at its once unstoppable Uniqlo chain.

The company said parent-only net profit plummeted 46.8 per cent from the year-ago period to 31.52 billion yen ($253 million) and added sales slid 18.4 per cent to 341.6 billion yen ($2.74 billion).

Earlier this month, Fast Retailing reported a 24.3 per cent year-on-year plunge in September same-store sales - its 12th consecutive monthly sales fall.

For fiscal 2003, the company is targeting a parent-only net profit of 24 billion yen and sales of 300 billion yen, while for 2004 it's aiming for a parent-only operating profit of 60 billion yen on sales of 370 billion yen.

The company's founder and president, Tadashi Yanai, will step down next month in a management reshuffle but remain as chairman, with managing director Genichi Tamatsuka taking up the role of president.