Tokyo—Fast Retailing Co. today boasted an 8.8% increase in its first quarter profit as sales continued to mount in its international stores.
For the three months ended Nov. 30, the parent of Uniqlo posted net income of 41.8 billion yen (about $398 million), compared with 38.5 billion yen in the year-ago quarter. That was ahead of the 37.2 billion yen estimate that analysts had expected.
To Reach 200 U.S. Stores Next Year
Net sales rose 22% to 389 billion yen helped by a 77% jump in revenue at Uniqlo’s overseas stores where sales surged to 114 billion yen. Sales at domestic stores in Japan rose 1.8% to 208.4 billion yen.
Full year sales will probably be 1.322 trillion yen, about 0.6% less than the company’s previous projection last November. The forecast was lowered to reflect a change in accounting for internal transactions.
Fast Retailing plans to open 200 to 300 stores overseas annually and will found its first store in Australia and Germany this spring. The retailer targets opening between 20 and 30 stores a year in the United States and hopes to reach 100 U.S. stores in the next few years.
In other news, the company hired LeAnn Nealz, formerly president at Juicy Couture, as chief creative officer for Uniqlo Global Design. She had also worked as a design executive at American Eagle Outfitters Inc., Gap Inc. and Banana Republic. John Fleming, formerly chief executive officer of Walmart.com, will head up Uniqlo’s e-commerce division. Jörgen Andersson will join as co-global chief marketing officer of Uniqlo after holding posts at Esprit and Hennes & Mauritz AB.
Fast Retailing designs, manufactures and sells under seven main fashion brands (Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam, Theory and Uniqlo) is also adding stores in China and Indonesia as it attempt to reach 5 trillion yen in sales by 2020.