TOKYO Onward Holdings said Friday that its net profit for the three months ended May 31 increased slightly, despite a drop in sales and operating profit. A strengthening of high-profitability areas such as e-commerce and a low comparative base helped to boost the company’s bottom line.

Onward’s first-quarter net profit grew 1.2 percent to 3.57 billion yen, or $29.64 million at average exchange for the period.

Operating profit dropped 26.2 percent to 4.4 billion yen, or $36.51 million.

The retailer’s net sales fell 6.5 percent to 68.77 billion yen, or $570.78 million. Onward, which owns such brands as Jil Sander and Chacott, said its sales were impacted by a high comparative base due to rush buying by consumers in March ahead of a consumption tax hike in April.

The company left unchanged its guidance for the fiscal year ending Feb. 29, 2016. It expects net profit to grow 18.9 percent to 5 billion yen, or $40.26 million at current exchange.

Onward is predicting a 57 percent increase in full-year operating profit to 9 billion yen, or $72.47 million.

The Japanese retailer forecasts a yearly sales drop of 6.2 percent to 264 billion yen, or $2.13 billion.

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