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Fast Retailing FY14 Sales Soar, Profits Plummet

Fast Retailing, the Japanese retail holding group and operator of Uniqlo and Global Brands, reported its consolidated revenue spiked 21 percent to 1.383 trillion yen ($12.9 billion) during the fiscal year period ended August 31, 2014. Its consolidated profit for the year, however, plummeted 26.2% to 79.3 billion yen ($585.6 million) from 107.5 million yen ($1 million) the year prior.

The company named an impairment loss at J Brand premium jeans retailer costing a total of 19.3 billion yen ($179.8 million), with an additional 4.6 billion yen ($42.9 million) impairment on stores, as reasons for the drop.

On the global front, Uniqlo Japan and Uniqlo International both generated gains in sales and income during the past fiscal year. In particular, Uniqlo International showed the most strength, growing significantly in both sales and operating profit, with sales rising 64.7% year-on-year to 413.6 billion yen ($3.9 billion) and operating profit growing 165.1% year-on-year to 32.9 billion yen ($306.5 million). Greater China, South Korea and Europe generated higher-than-expected gains in sales and income.

Uniqlo Japan continued to see positive marks. Revenue increased 4.7% year-on-year to 715.6 billion yen ($6.7 billion) and operating profit surged 11.6% to 106.3 billion yen ($990.2 million). The solid performance was brought on in part by a 1.9% jump in sales in existing stores and also to a rise in total sales per store. Throughout the year, sales of core items like Heat Tech, knitwear, jeans, Ultra Light Down, and Airism proved strong. Stores in the region also did well with a new range of dresses, skirts and bras.

Looking forward, the company expects all business segments to generate gains in both sales and income. It expects, for the year ending August 31, 2015, to see revenue increase 15.7% to 1.6 trillion yen ($14.9 billion) and operating profit to expand 38 percent to 180 billion yen ($1.7 billion).