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Seven & I shatters operating profit record as convenience stores thrive

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

Seven & I Holdings Co. said Thursday it logged a record consolidated operating profit of ¥339.6 billion for the business year through February, thanks mainly to the strong performance of its convenience stores, which gave the group a 14.9 percent boost.

It is the first time a Japanese retailer has broken the ¥300 billion mark for operating profit. Group net profit rose 27.3 percent to a record ¥175.6 billion.

“We were able to achieve record profits, particularly owing to our core business companies Seven-Eleven Japan Co. and 7-Eleven Inc. in the United States, which gained big profits,” Seven & I Holdings President Noritoshi Murata said at a news conference in Tokyo.

Seven-Eleven Japan, which opened a record 1,579 outlets in the year, logged a record operating profit of ¥212.7 billion, up 13.9 percent, as high-quality merchandise and self-service coffee fared well. U.S. counterpart 7-Eleven meanwhile logged a 34.1 percent gain in operating profit to ¥51.2 billion, thanks to new private-brand products and the renovation of acquired outlets, it said.

For this year, Seven & I Holdings expects to log a record consolidated operating profit of ¥356 billion, up 4.8 percent, and group net profit of ¥184 billion, up 4.7 percent.

Though there are concerns about negative factors, including the sales tax hike, Murata said rising salaries will boost consumer confidence.