Uniqlo’s owner sees half-year earnings up 23% and increases annual earnings estimate

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Women walk past a fast retailing fashion chain Uniqlo store in Beijing

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Fast Retailing, owner of clothing brand Uniqlo, reported a 23% increase in half-year operating profit on Thursday and raised its earnings estimate for the full year.

According to Fast Retailing, operating income for the six months ended February was 168 billion yen ($ 1.53 billion) compared to 136.7 billion yen the previous year.

The company increased its forecast for full year operating income from 245 billion yen to 255 billion yen. The average estimate in a refinitive poll of 15 analysts was 262.9 billion yen.

Fast Retailing was among the most resilient retailers during the coronavirus pandemic as Uniqlo’s focus on China and Japan escaped the worst retail downturn in the US and Europe.

Uniqlo was selling masks briskly and saw strong demand for sweatpants and other comfortable items of clothing that stay at home.

($ 1 = 109,6500 yen)

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