Japanese retailer Fast Retailing has upped its earnings forecast for the full year as Uniqlo sales beat expectations in Japan and international sales soared.

In the six months to the end of February, consolidated revenue totalled JPY949.6bn (US$7.9m), a 24.2% increase of on sales of JPY764.4m a year earlier.

Consolidated profit before income taxes stood at JPY163.6bn, a 48% increase year-on-year, while profit attributable to owners of the parent totalled JPY104.7bn, representing growth of 56.2%.

All group operations reported increases in revenue and profit, while Uniqlo international performed particularly strongly during the six month period.

Uniqlo Japan achieved higher-than-expected increases in revenue and profit, with sales up 12.1% to JPY454.5bn, and operating profit up 24.7% to JPY89.4bn. Same store sales expanded 8.4% year-on-year.

Uniqlo international also reported higher-than-expected revenue and profit growth. Revenue expanded considerably to JPY345.5bn, a 48.9% increase year-on-year, while operating profit soared 63.2% to JPY42.8bn.

Global Brands sales expanded to JPY148.2bn, representing growth of 18.3%, while operating profit was up 23.4% to JPY11.7bn, thanks to the low-priced GU fashion casual wear brand reporting higher-than expected increases in both revenue and profit.