Fast Retailing, the Uniqlo operator, reports a record net profit.

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Fast Retailing, the Uniqlo operator, reports a record net profit.

Uniqlo’s parent company announced a record annual net profit on Thursday, predicting even stronger results this year as pandemic-related restrictions are eased further around the world.

As infections were limited around the world, Fast Retailing reported business had “recovered dramatically,” with sales in Europe and North America rebounding sharply after virus lockdowns were lifted.

The company made a better-than-expected net profit of 169.8 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in the year ending August 2021, up 88 percent year on year.

Sales rose 6.2 percent to 2.13 trillion yen, thanks to an increase in demand for casual items and cost-cutting, according to the business.

The business added that demand in key international markets like as Asia, North America, and Europe should compensate for predicted drops in domestic Uniqlo operations this fiscal year.

“We expect constraints to lessen and normal business activities to resume in the second half,” said Takeshi Okazaki, chief financial officer.

“As a result, we expect higher sales and a big increase in profit.”

On estimated yearly sales of 2.2 trillion yen, the company forecasted a net profit of 175 billion yen for the current fiscal year ending in August 2022.

However, he noted, the company’s flagship Uniqlo operations in Japan are projected to face a dip in demand from a year ago, when loungewear and other “stay-at-home” items were bought up en bulk.

“Masks were in high demand as well. During this fiscal year, those factors are projected to vanish “Okazaki explained.

Tadashi Yanai, the business’s chief executive officer, said the company would focus more on developing stores near residential regions, as well as urban retail districts, in the future.

He expressed concern about growing raw-material prices, the ongoing pandemic, and certain countries’ on-and-off local lockdowns.

“I believe everyone in the organization worked hard in this difficult situation for the past year,” Yanai added.

“The coronavirus pandemic, however, is still ongoing. We just cannot predict what will occur when.”

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