TOKYO — Fast Retailing said Thursday that the company’s net profit for its most recent fiscal year more than doubled, as both profit and revenue reached all-time highs. It attributed the large gain to a strong performance by its flagship Uniqlo brand outside Japan, as well as a foreign exchange gain and the narrowing of impairment losses.
Net profit for the 12 months ended Aug. 31 totaled 119.2 billion yen, or $1.06 billion. In the same period a year earlier, the company posted a profit of 48 billion yen.
The retailer’s operating profit rose by 38.6 percent to 176.4 billion yen, and yearly revenue grew by 4.2 percent to 1.86 trillion yen.
While revenue of Uniqlo both internationally and in Japan, as well as of Fast Retailing’s global brands segment — which includes Theory, J Brand and GU — grew, by far the largest gains were generated by Uniqlo International. That segment posted revenue of 315.3 billion yen, which represents a gain of 18.5 percent year-over-year. Uniqlo Japan’s revenue increased by 2.7 percent to 355.6 billion yen, while revenue of the global brands business was up 6.6 percent to 171.9 billion yen.
Uniqlo’s performance was especially strong in Asian markets. In Southeast Asia and Oceania, operating profit doubled year-on-year, and the greater China and South Korea businesses both reported “large year-over-year profit gains.”
Fast Retailing also released its guidance for its current fiscal year, ending Aug. 31, 2018. It expects both revenue and profit will continue to grow, with revenue for Uniqlo international surpassing that of Uniqlo Japan for the first time.
The company is forecasting its net profit will advance by 0.6 percent to 120 billion yen and operating profit to increase by 13.4 percent to 200 billion yen. The retailer is predicting yearly revenue gains of 10.1 percent to 2.05 trillion yen.
“According to the company’s expectation, not only will revenue of Uniqlo International grow strongly, its profit performance will also drive the earnings of the whole group, with especially strong growth from Uniqlo Greater China and Uniqlo Southeast Asia and Oceania,” Fast Retailing said in a statement.