© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Women passing by a store belonging to the fashion chain Fast Retailing Uniqlo, in Beijing
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Fast Retailing, the owner of clothing brand Uniqlo, on Thursday reported a 23% increase in half-year operating profit and an increase in its yearly earnings estimate.
The company was one of the most resilient retailers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Uniqlo’s focus on China and Japan helped them escape the worst recessions that hit the United States and Europe. Europe.
Fast Retailing said operating profits were 168 billion yen ($ 1.53 billion) in the six months through February, compared with 136.7 billion yen a year earlier.
The company raised its full-year operating profit forecast to ¥ 255 billion from ¥ 245 billion. The average estimate in a Refinitiv poll of 15 analysts was 262.9 billion yen.
During the pandemic, Uniqlo quickly sold masks and saw a strong demand for jogging pants to wear at home and other comfortable clothing.
However, the company is currently dealing with crises in Myanmar and China that are upsetting their supply chains and one of their most important overseas markets.
Fire broke out at Fast Retailing’s two partner factories in Myanmar last month amid turmoil following the military coup. The company had to suspend operations at a number of domestic facilities due to the conditions of martial law.
In China, the company and other Western brands are facing backlash against criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang province. Fast Retailing operates about 800 Uniqlo stores in the mainland, equivalent to the Japanese home market.
Western brands include H&M, Burberry, Nike (NYSE 🙂 and Adidas (OTC 🙂 have been boycotted by Chinese consumers over concerns about forced labor in Xinjiang, a major cotton producer. Five brand ambassadors for Fast Retail in China quit their jobs amid backlash.
($ 1 = 109.6500 yen)
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