TOKYO — Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings said Thursday that its net profit for the 12 months ended March 31 grew by over 20 times due to a low comparative base and sizeable one-time tax benefit related to the merger of its two parts, Isetan and Mitsukoshi.
 
Profit for the year totaled 58.89 billion yen, or $746.15 million at average exchange rates for the period. This is in comparison to a net of 2.64 billion yen, or $30.89 million, in the previous year.
 
Operating profit more than doubled to 23.83 billion yen, or $301.98 million.
 
Net sales for the period increased 1.6 percent on the year, coming in at 1.24 trillion yen, or $15.71 billion.
 
Japan’s largest department store operator noted that several factors, including last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, resulting power shortages and fears of radioactivity, and financial unrest in Europe, have led to continual shifts in levels of consumer spending and retail sales throughout Japan.
 
“In the case of the department store business, although we’ve been able to see signs of some recovery, because of certain business conditions such as intensified competition, sales in general have continued to fall below levels of the previous year,” the company said.
 
Isetan Mitsukoshi also released its guidance for the current fiscal year, ending March 31, 2013. It expects net profit to drop 47.4 percent to 31 billion yen, or $388.80 million at current exchange rates. Operating profit is forecast to grow by 4.9 percent to 25 billion yen, or $313.55 million.
 
The retailer said it expects sales for the current year to remain flat, totaling 1.24 trillion yen, or $15.55 billion.

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