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Financial Roundup: Fast Retailing Sees Broad Gains, Boohoo is All Smiles

The flagship Uniqlo brand shows strong growth across all regions, while online guru saw sales double in the last four months of the year.

Fast Retailing

In a Nutshell: Led by a strong performance at Uniqlo Japan and Uniqlo International, as well as online sales, Fast Retailing posted increases in first quarter sales and earnings. The company said revenue and profit contributions from Greater China, South Korea and Southeast Asia were especially strong in the period. Results at Uniqlo U.S.A. continued to improve, with a profit in the first quarter.

Sales: Revenue for the first quarter ended Nov. 30 increased 16.7% to 617 billion yen ($5.54 billion). Uniqlo Japan saw first-quarter revenue increase 7.6% to 257 billion yen ($2.31 billion), while the Global Brands business, which includes Theory and Comptoir des Cotonniers, saw revenue growth of 13.8% to 40 billion yen ($360 million). Uniqlo International posted a 31.4% rise in revenue to 258.2 billion yen ($2.32 billion).

Earnings: Fast Retailing’s net profit grew 12.7% to 78.5 billion yen ($702.4 million), with its operating profit increasing 28.6% to 113.9 billion yen ($1.02 billion). Uniqlo Japan posted an 18.6% rise in operating profit to 54.1 billion yen ($490 million), Uniqlo International’s operating profit increased 54.7% to 46.6 billion yen ($420 million), and Global Brands profit gained 10.4% to 3 billion yen ($30 million).

CFO’s Take: Takeshi Okazaki, group executive vice president and chief financial officer, said, “Same-store sales, which include online sales, expanded by 8.4% year-on-year. Strong demand and ample inventory of essential fall [and] winter items, such as Heattech, down coats, sweatshirts and merino wool sweaters, resulted in robust sales. Online sales increased 25.6% compared with the same period a year ago, and constituted 7 percent of overall sales.”

[Read more about Uniqlo: Uniqlo Apparel Coming to a Vending Machine Near You]

In a Nutshell: The e-commerce specialist reported record revenues for all brands for the four-month period through the end of the year in what it described as a “highly successful trading period.” The U.K.-based company said revenue growth for this financial year is now expected to be around 90 percent, ahead of its previous guidance of around 80 percent. It now expects group adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be between 9.25% and 9.75%, narrowing the range from the 9 percent to 10 percent as guided at its interim results.

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Sales: Revenue for the September to December period increased 100 percent to 228.2 million pounds ($308.93 million) from 114.3 million pounds ($154.73 million) in the prior-year period. Boohoo revenue grew 25 percent to 142.6 million pounds ($193.04 million), while PrettyLittleThing posted revenue gains of 191 percent to 73.8 million pounds ($99.91 million), and Nasty Gal’s revenue was 11.9 million pounds ($16.11 million), increasing month-on-month from start-up in March 2017.

CEO’s Take: Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, joint CEOs, said: “We are delighted to report another set of strong financial and operational results, with record sales in the four months to December across all our brands. The Black Friday period was our most successful ever and we traded well throughout the period under review. Boohoo has continued to perform well, delivering strong revenue growth on increasingly challenging comparatives last year. PrettyLittleThing has continued to deliver exceptional results and Nasty Gal is making excellent progress in its first year. Our focus remains on the customer proposition: offering the best range of the latest fashion at affordable prices, coupled with great customer service.”