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Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing cuts full-year outlook


Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing Co lowered its full-year outlook, hurt by heavy discounts on winter clothes after a warm winter and losses stemming from its weak overseas brands, even as it turned in a better-than-expected second-quarter profit.

For the full year through August, it forecast an operating profit of 260 billion yen ($2.34 billion), versus its previous estimate of 270 billion yen. The retailer, however, reported a rise in its operating profit for the second quarter to 68 billion yen, from 57 billion yen a year earlier, on growth in China and its online business. That beat an average estimate of 64 billion from six analysts polled by Refinitiv. Operating profit for Uniqlo’s China business has been growing by double digits in recent quarters despite concerns of a slowing economy. The company expanded to 633 locations in China in the last fiscal year, up 78 stores from a year earlier, while in Japan it went down 4 stores to 827. Uniqlo has found it tough to cope with unexpected weather patterns in the past few years. After struggling with a shortage of popular winter items in the past, the Japanese company last winter overcompensated by ordering too much inventory. Fast Retailing posted a surprise drop in profit in the first quarter as unseasonably warm weather hit sales of winter clothes.

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