Breaking this performance down into Group segments, UNIQLO International generated significant growth in both sales and income, while our other two segments, UNIQLO Japan and Global Brands, reported a fall in profits. In terms of non-operating income, we reported a large foreign exchange gain of ¥ 17.8bln generated by the comparative depreciation in the yen exchange rate at the end of May 2013.
Sales increased but income fell in the third quarter from March to May 2013. While same-store sales growth proved strong at 9.3% year on year, a contraction in the gross profit margin knocked operating income lower.
UNIQLO Japan sales and operating income both came in ¥ 3.0bln below our most recent estimates for the third quarter, but the subsequent sales data for June proved strong and so we have not made any changes to our full-year estimates. We expect operating income at UNIQLO Japan to rise 3.6% year on year in fiscal 2013 to ¥ 106.0bln.
This segment continued to generate considerable growth in both sales and income in the third quarter from March to May 2013. The significant gain in profits can be attributed to our commitment to open large numbers of new stores, primarily in the Asian region, and also to consistent strong growth in same-store sales in Asia.
One market in Asia that fell short of target was South Korea after unseasonal weather dampened sales of spring garments. We had expected to be able to generate an earnings recovery at UNIQLO USA in the second half from March through August 2013. However, losses continue to hover stubbornly at previous year levels.
Sales rose but income fell in the third quarter from March to May 2013. Despite another strong result from GU, a contraction in profits at Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse tam.tam knocked income lower for the segment as a whole.
Fiscal 2013 Consolidated Estimates:
Group sales are forecast to top ¥ 1 trillion for the first time. Estimated consolidated sales: ¥ 1.103trln (+18.8% y/y), operating income: ¥ 147.5bln (+16.6%), ordinary income: ¥ 153.5bln (+22.6%), net income: ¥ 91.5bln (+27.7%), earnings per share: ¥ 898.09. Annual dividend forecast for the year ending August 31, 2013: ¥ 280 per share (including interim dividend of ¥ 140).
UNIQLO Japan: Same-store Sales Expand but Income Falls in the Third Quarter
UNIQLO Japan constitutes 61.1% of consolidated sales and 71.2% of Group income. In the nine months through May 2013, UNIQLO Japan generated a 7.6% year-on-year gain in sales to ¥ 541.6bln. However, operating income contracted 4.7% over the same period to ¥ 88.3bln.
We boosted our advertising campaigns for core lines including Ultra Light Down, HEATTECH, and danpan warm pants in the 2012 fall/winter season and AIRism, Leggings Pants, Steteco and Relaco ("Relax and Comfort") in the 2013 spring/summer season.
This additional advertising greatly boosted the number of customers visiting our stores, and helped generate impressive growth in same-store sales of 5.2% year on year for September 2012 through May 2013 and 9.3% for the March to May quarter.
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