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Fast Retailing’s push into western markets softens China slump

Fast Retailing’s expansion into the U.S. and Europe is paying off, with a strong performance in those markets helping to make up for a sharp deceleration in China.

The company behind popular brands Uniqlo and GU raised its full-year forecast for operating income to ¥475 billion ($2.9 billion) from ¥450 billion. Operating income for the three months ended May was ¥145 billion, exceeding analysts’ average estimate for ¥124 billion.

Fast Retailing has been pushing its overseas expansion beyond Japan and China as it seeks to become a global apparel retailer. Uniqlo reported big revenue and profit gains in North America and Europe while business across southeast Asia, India, Australia and South Korea continues to improve. Strong performance in its home market of Japan also helped lift profit in the latest period.

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