Three of the nation’s four top convenience store chains broke their records for group operating profit in fiscal 2011 as customers binged on supplies following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
According to earnings reports released as of Thursday, Seven-Eleven Japan Co., the nation’s largest convenience chain, logged an 8.3 percent rise in operating profit to ¥183.1 billion, while Lawson Inc. posted a 12.1 percent jump to ¥56.2 billion and FamilyMart Co. a 13.5 percent jump to ¥38.2 billion.
Circle K Sunkus Co.’s operating profit shot up 16.8 percent to ¥21.3 billion, falling short of its record.
Profits expanded as female and elderly customers scrambled to buy fresh food and other items after the quake, analysts said.
Sales at all Seven-Eleven outlets advanced 11.3 percent to ¥3.281 trillion in the business year to Feb. 29, with the retailer becoming the first chain store in Japan to achieve more than ¥3 trillion in annual sales.
Lawson, which gained from sales of vegetables and boxed lunches targeted at women, saw sales rise 7.9 percent to ¥1.621 trillion.
FamilyMart’s success was based in part on better sales of prepared dishes and salads for health-conscious customers. Sales grew 6.5 percent to ¥1.535 trillion.
Circle K Sunkus logged a 4.8 percent bump in sales to ¥896.4 billion, due partly to brisk sales of cigarettes.
In light of the robust earnings, convenience stores are set to expand their networks in fiscal 2012.