Fast Retailing 9-Month Net Profit Falls 20.5%

Discounting and one-time expenses linked to the earthquake hit earnings.

TOKYO — Uniqlo’s corporate parent, Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., said Thursday its net profit for the nine months ended May 31 tumbled 20.5 percent as the company discounted unsold merchandise and racked up some onetime expenses linked to the earthquake and tsunami in March.

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The retailer posted a net profit of 53.4 billion yen, or $647.22 million at average exchange rates for the period. A spokesman said discounts were accountable for much of the slide, as unseasonably warm winter weather and cold spring weather negatively affected the company’s sales.

Operating profit for the nine months dropped 15.3 percent year-over-year to 104.57 billion yen, or $1.27 billion.

Sales decreased 1.1 percent to 652.02 billion yen, or $7.9 billion.

Fast Retailing left unrevised its guidance for the 12 months ending Aug. 31 because it is expecting a dramatic increase in sales and profit in the fourth quarter, the spokesman said. It continues to forecast a net profit of 60 billion yen, or $757.05 million at current exchange. This would be a decrease of 2.7 percent from its previous fiscal year. It sees operating profit dropping 8.2 percent to 121.5 billion yen, or $1.53 billion.

The company predicts a full-year sales increase of 2.6 percent to 836 billion yen, or $10.55 billion.