Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi

TOKYO — Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings said Wednesday that despite lower sales, its profit for the fiscal first half jumped on a low comparative base. The company has enacted various restructuring measures, which dealt a large blow to its profit in the same period during the previous year.

Japan’s largest department store operator said net profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 totaled 3.93 billion yen, or $34.7 million, a huge leap from the 18 million yen it posted in the same period last year.

Operating profit gained 41.5 percent to 10.83 billion yen.

The retailer’s first-half net sales declined by 4.3 percent, totaling 563.99 billion yen.

Less than two years ago, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings appointed Toshihiro Sugie to succeed Hiroshi Onishi as chief executive officer of the group. At the time, the company said it intended to implement a “complete change of the management structure.”

Sales at Isetan Mitsukoshi’s stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area have continued to benefit from strong tax-free sales to visiting shoppers from overseas, but its rural stores have not fared as well.

Despite the overall year-on-year fall in sales, the company showed cautious optimism for the year ending March 31, leaving its profit forecasts unchanged but raising its sales guidance slightly.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings expects net profit for the fiscal year to total 13 billion yen, after posting a loss of 960 million in the previous 12 months.

It is forecasting 18.8 percent growth in full-year operating profit, for a total of 29 billion yen.

The retailer predicts its yearly net sales will slip by 4.5 percent to come in at 1.2 trillion yen. This is up from a previous forecast of 1.195 trillion yen, which would have represented a decline of 4.9 percent.