Uniqlo operator logs record profits

Uniqlo is a major sponsor of tennis star Roger Federer (AFP pic)

TOKYO: Uniqlo’s parent company said Thursday that it had logged a record annual net profit on a sharp rise in sales abroad that outstripped those in its home market of Japan.

Fast Retailing announced a net profit of 154.8 billion yen (US$1.4 billion), a 30% gain on last year.

Turnover at Asia’s biggest retailer, a fierce rival of Zara, Gap and H&M, soared by 14% to 2.1 trillion compared to last year’s figures.

Uniqlo represented 80% of the turnover and the firm said it expected growth to continue at the brand, which now sponsors tennis stars Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori.

Uniqlo sales abroad grew by 27% compared to last year, while turnover in Japan climbed nearly 7%, about the same growth rate as last year.

Fast Retailing said it expected fresh record profits in the next trading year, forecasting a net profit of 165 billion yen from turnover of 2.3 trillion.