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Fast Retailing revises down forecasts for apparel segment
Jan '10
Both revenue and income increased significantly at FAST RETAILING during the first quarter from September to November 2009.

Net sales rose 39.8% year on year to ¥263.4bln, operating income rose 49.1% year on year to ¥61.0bln, and net income increased by 57.2% to ¥34.8bln. Underlying this strong performance were considerable gains in both revenue and profit at our mainstay UNIQLO Japan operation and also expanded profits at UNIQLO International.

UNIQLO Japan same store sales increased by a strong 20.8% year on year, tipping net sales ¥20.0bln and operating income ¥10.0bln above the initial estimate for the quarter. New products including outerwear such as neo-leather jackets proved strong right from the autumn season launch. UNIQLO was often in the news with the opening of the Paris global flagship store, and the launch of the +J collection with fashion design Ms. Sander. This boosted customer numbers considerably during the quarter. Large year-on-year increases in sales of HEATTECH functional wear also contributed to the quarter's strong revenue performance.

UNIQLO International generated a significant increase in revenue over the first quarter with the success of the Paris global flagship store opened October 1 and the launch of the +J collection helping to boost same store sales in each national market. Although GOV RETAILING performed to plan, profit at our Japan Apparel segment fell overall on the back of a downturn in performance at women's fashion developer CABIN. Both revenue and income rose at our Global Brands segment as the newly consolidated theory brand made a strong contribution, and our COMPTOIR DES COTONNIERS brand performed to plan.

We have revised up our initial consolidated business estimates for the year to August 2010. We now predict consolidated net sales for the full year of ¥820.0bln (up 19.7% y/y), operating income of ¥130.5bln (up 20.1% y/y) and ordinary income of ¥125.5bln (up 23.9% y/y). We forecast a profit per share of 663.16 yen. We are scheduling an annual dividend per share of 200 yen that includes an interim dividend payout of 100 yen.

- UNIQLO Japan
We achieved significant gains in both revenue and profit at our mainstay UNIQLO Japan operation which accounts for approximately 80% of consolidated net sales. Net sales for the first quarter rose 30.2% year on year to ¥204.9bln and operating income rose 42.9% to ¥56.2bln. Compared to our initial target, net sales outperformed by ¥20.0bln and operating income by ¥10.0bln. We achieved extremely strong same store sales growth of 20.8% year on year during the first quarter.

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