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UNIQLO experiences contraction in Q3 profit, FAST RETAILING
Jul '10
FAST RETAILING CO., LTD achieved significant gains in both revenue and profit through the third quarter, the nine months to May 2010. Net sales rose 22.7% year on year to ¥ 659.0bln, operating income rose 27.1% year on year to ¥ 123.4bln and net income increased by 35.2% year on year to ¥ 67.1bln.

UNIQLO Japan did experience a contraction in profit in the third quarter (March-May 2010) as unseasonably cold weather hindered customer traffic and same-store sales fell. While we have revised downward our second half estimates for UNIQLO Japan, we are still predicting the operation will generate increased sales and profit for the full business year through August 2010. We now estimate full-year net sales at UNIQLO Japan will rise 13.0% year on year to ¥ 608.0bln and operating income will rise 17.4% year on year to ¥ 130.0bln. Sales of SILKY DRY and SARAFINE innerwear made from functional materials proved strong during the spring/summer season. Our plan to open 31 large-format stores this business year is on track, and we expect to achieve our aggregate 808-store, including 20 franchise stores and 102 large-format stores, by the end of the business year,

UNIQLO International is enjoying a favorable expansion particularly in the Asian region. UNIQLO brand awareness is also increasing in the US and Europe generating improvements in sales and profit per store. We opened our first store in Russia in April of this year, while the May 15 opening of our fourth global flagship store, the Shanghai West Nanjing Road Store, met with phenomenal success. We estimate UNIQLO International net sales for the full business year through August 2010 will rise 93.2% to ¥ 73.0bln and that operating income will rise 301.2% to ¥ 6.5bln.

Within the Japan Apparel segment, our low-priced fashion operation g.u. continues its strong performance. Our Global Brands segment is producing considerable gains in both revenue and income following the incorporation of the Theory operation onto consolidated accounts from the third quarter 2009.

For the full business year through August 2010, we now estimate consolidated net sales will rise 19.0% year on year to ¥ 815.0bln and consolidated operating income will increase 22.4% year on year to ¥ 133.0bln. This represents a downward revision to our previous estimate announced April 8 of ¥ 19.0bln in net sales and ¥ 7.5bln in operating income. These estimates translate into profit per share of 663.16 yen. We predict an annual dividend per share of 230 yen: a 115 yen as interim dividend and a 115 yen as year-end dividend. This would represent a 70-yen rise in the dividend per share over last year.

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