By  on May 12, 2009

TOKYO — Japan’s largest department store operator, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., posted a lower-than-expected net profit for the year ended March 31, amid a protracted slump in consumer spending.

Isetan Mitsukoshi said Tuesday it generated a net profit of 4.68 billion yen, or $46.8 million at average exchange, for the period. That’s more than 50 percent lower than the target it gave in February, when the company issued a profit warning. At that time, it said net profit was on track to come in at 11 billion yen, or $122.9 million.

Full-year operating profits came in at 19.58 billion yen, or $195.8 million, while net sales were 1.43 trillion yen, or $14.3 billion.

Isetan and Mitsukoshi merged early last year so year-earlier figures were not provided.

As for the current fiscal year, which ends March 2010,Isetan Mitsukoshi said restructuring and cost-cutting will allow it to grow net profits more than four times to 20 billion yen, or $204.1 million at current exchange.

But the company warned the rest of the balance sheet won’t be as rosy. Operating profit is seen dropping nearly 90 percent to 2 billion yen, or $20.4 million. Sales are seen falling by 10.3 percent to 1.28 trillion yen, or $13.1 billion.

The company also revealed plans to close a branch of Isetan in the Tokyo neighborhood of Kichijoji in March 2010. This location has incurred losses of 1.7 billion yen, or $17.3 million, to date.

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