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Fast Retailing mega growth plan on track as H1 proves to be a bumper season

Fast Retailing has one of the most ambitious long-term sales and profits targets in global retail and if its latest set of results is anything to go by, we’re not going to argue.

The Japanese giant saw its net profit soaring 56% in the six months to February, while operating profits soared 40%. The company also upped its earnings forecast Thursday on the back of strong H1 trading.

It promised more good news to come too. Asia’s biggest apparel retailer now expects sales to hit ¥1.65trn ($13.7bn) in the year to August, up from its previous ¥1.6trn projection. Net profit is also expected to grow to ¥120bn from its previous ¥100bn view.

Citing strong demand for winterwear in its home market and a weaker yen boosting the value of overseas revenue, net profit for six months to February jumped 56% to ¥104.75bn from ¥67.08bn a year ago. Operating profit for the period rose 40% to ¥150.08bn from ¥107.03bn last time.

Sales, meanwhile, rocketed 24% to ¥949.68bn from ¥764.38bn a year ago. Japan same-store sales also rose 8.4%.

Figures also showed its star brand Uniqlo is seeing how international sales are becoming increasingly important, as revenue generated at domestic stores fell below 50% for the first time last autumn. H1 sales at Uniqlo’s domestic stores increased 12% while international sales leapt 49%.

• Uniqlo is to launch an online flagship store on China’s JD.com on April 17, offering express shipping to customers in Shanghai. JD has set up a 10,600 sq m Uniqlo fulfillment center in Shanghai to manage an inventory of 1m pieces allowing deliver within six hours to customers in the city. This becomes Uniqlo’s second online presence in China within Alibaba’s Tmall.com.

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