Fast Retailing generated JPY810.8bn ($5.57bn) revenue growth in Q1 of 2023-2024 (the three Months to November 2023), which is a 13.2% increase year-on-year. The Japanese company also saw its operating profit go up to JPY146.6bn, which is an increase of 25.3%.

The strong performance was attributed to all Uniqlo International operations generating significant increases in both revenue and profit. Revenue was JPY441.3bn, an increase of 23.3% and operating profit was JPY77.8bn, an increase of 35.8%.

Greater China, North America and Europe regions all reported significant increases in revenue and profit for the company.

However, Southeast Asia, India & Australia fell slightly short of their business estimates despite generating significant revenue and profit gains.

Going forward, Fast Retailing said it plans to further strengthen its business platforms by learning how to compile better product mixes that match eternal summer climates and clarify local human resource training issues.

GlobalData apparel analyst Louise Deglise-Favre told Just Style exclusively: “Uniqlo continues its upward trajectory, especially in Europe and North America where sales rose 34.2% and 22.3% respectively – an impressive growth given the already high growths the two regions experienced in the group’s last financial year.”

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She attributes these successes to Uniqlo’s product being perceived by consumers as good value for money given their quality and reasonable pricing.

She continued: “Value for money has been especially important to consumers in these regions where high inflation and macroeconomic difficulties have caused many consumers to examine their apparel purchases more cautiously, making sure their money was being spent on durable garments which they could get a lot of wear out of – which is exactly Uniqlo’s proposition.”

Uniqlo reported higher revenue and a considerable rise in profit in its home market of Japan with a revenue increase of 1.5% to JPY244.4bn yen and an operating profit increase of 18.0% to JPY46.5bn.

This is in contrast to the same period last year when an analyst said the company was being held back by its struggling home market.

Fast Retailing’s GU brand also generated considerably higher revenue (JPY87.8bn up 10.7%) and profit (JPY2.3bn up 16.4%). However ,the retailer noted its sales struggled in September and October but picked up strongly in November as it ensured ample stock of strong-selling winter items.

Key results from Fast Retailing Q1

  • Fast Retailing generated JPY810.8bn ($5.57bn) of revenue in its first quarter, which is a rise of 13.2% year-on-year.
  • Fast Retailing’s operating income was JPY146.6bn, which is an increase of 25.3% year-on-year.
  • Fast Retailing’s overall profit before income taxes was JPY162.4, which is up 28.1% year-on-year.

Fast Retailing maintains outlook for FY2024

Fast Retailing has made no change to its initial forecasts for fiscal 2024 consolidated performance announced in October 2023.

It still expects to achieve consolidated revenue of JPY3.0500tn, which is up 10.2% year-on-year, operating profit of JPY450.0bn, which is up 18.1% year-on-year, and profit attributable to owners of its parent of JPY310.0bn, which is up 4.6% year-on-year.

The company pointed out its first-quarter performance exceeded expectations, but sales slowed in December due to the warm winter weather.

However, despite this it still expects to be able to achieve its business estimates for the first half of FY2024 overall.

Fast Retailing forecasts an annual dividend per share in FY2024 of JPY330, split equally between interim and year-end dividends of JPY165 each.

In October Fast Retailing reported record profits for the year ending 31 August 2023 (FY23), including record annual profits.