Don Quijote Co saw pretax profit in the first half through December rise 12 per cent from a year earlier to 3.66bn yen ($31m), a record midterm figure, the discount store operator said.

While revenues from existing stores declined due to falling prices, new stores contributed to earnings.

Sales in the six months grew 34 per cent to 47.4bn yen, with the opening of seven new stores in 2000 expanding total sales floor space by 74 per cent. Net profit climbed 20 per cent to 1.85bn yen. Group operating profit stood at 3.28bn yen.

For the full year through June, Don Quijote expects group net profit to improve 25 per cent to 3.53bn yen on sales of 96bn yen, up 30 per cent.