By: Inside Retail Asia
Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing may have reported a 12-per-cent drop in sales in its full-year results, but that decline was far less than predicted as recently as July because the Greater China and Japanese markets recovered at a faster rate than expected.
The company reported a full-year profit of US$1.426 billion, down 42 per cent, on sales of $19.185 billion worldwide.[READ: Uniqlo opening online store soon ]
Same-store annual sales across Uniqlo stores declined by 6.8 per cent in Japan, while fourth-quarter sales in Greater China were up 20 per cent year on year.
In South Korea, where the company has been impacted by a broad boycott of Japanese brands by local consumers for the last year or so, sales fell sharply and Fast Retailing recorded a loss, despite closing its poorest-performing stores.
Elsewhere, sales and profit were down across most of Southeast Asia and in Australia and India, but Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia recovered favourably in the fourth quarter. Losses were reported in both North America and Europe.
Sales by the GU brand rose 3 per cent for the year, but operating profit was down by 22.5 per cent.
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