AEON GETS LIFT FROM RESTRUCTURING

Supermarket chain sells way to record profits

Supermarket operator Aeon Co. on Wednesday reported a record group net profit and a record group pretax profit for the first half of its business year through Aug. 20.

Formerly known as Jusco Co., Aeon attributed these results to restructuring efforts and brisk earnings at its subsidiaries, including convenience store operator Ministop Co.

Aeon posted a group net profit of 19.72 billion yen over the period, marking a turnaround from the loss of 32.21 billion yen it recorded a year earlier. The loss was attributed to a one-time loss of 68 billion yen from its efforts to make up for a shortage of retirement allowance reserves the previous year.

Aeon’s per-share group net profit stood at 59.58 yen, compared with a per-share loss of 97.27 yen recorded a year earlier.

Aeon said its group pretax profit for the first half rose 16.5 percent to a record high of 56.91 billion yen, in the wake of restructuring efforts. Its group operating revenues rose 3.9 percent to a record 1.492 trillion yen.

Its group operating profit rose 9.2 percent to a half-year record high of 58.26 billion yen, compared with the 53.37 billion yen recorded for the same half-year period a year ago.

Aeon said it will continue to skip interim dividend payments.

It paid a per-share dividend of 22 yen in the previous business year but has yet to announce what dividend will be paid for the current year.

For the full year to Feb. 20, Aeon expects to generate a group net profit of 43 billion yen and a group pretax profit of 124 billion yen on group operating revenues of 3.03 trillion yen.

Ministop profit up 45%

Ministop Co. said Wednesday its group net profit rose 44.6 percent to 3.11 billion yen in the first half of its business year through Aug. 31, following a one-time gain from the sale of equities holdings.

The convenience store operator, a unit of supermarket chain operator Aeon Co., also attributed the results to the absence of a one-time loss it posted a year earlier.

The loss was generated from efforts to make up for a shortage of retirement allowance reserves and efforts to replace old computer systems.

Its per-share group net profit rose to 105.8 yen from the 73.14 yen recorded a year earlier.

Group pretax profit rose 0.2 percent to 5.69 billion yen, due to higher operating revenues at its franchised stores, it said.

Ministop said its group operating profit rose 0.4 percent to 5.45 billion yen on the back of a 4.9 percent rise in group operating revenues to 32.61 billion yen.

Ministop said it will pay an interim per-share dividend of 17.5 yen, up 1 yen from a year earlier. It paid a per-share dividend of 34 yen the previous year.

For the year through Feb. 28, Ministop expects to generate a group net profit of 4.5 billion yen and a group pretax profit of 8.7 billion yen on operating revenues of 62 billion yen.