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Sales at Seven-Eleven Japan Co. convenience stores in the business year to Feb. 28 rose 4.2 percent from the previous year to 2.05 trillion yen, topping 2 trillion yen for the first time, the company said Thursday. The performance is likely to make Seven-Eleven Japan the nation’s largest retailer, a position currently held by Daiei Inc., industry sources said. Daiei is to publish its results shortly.

Daiei, which is now restructuring, has maintained the top spot since 1972, when its sales surpassed those of Mitsukoshi Ltd.

Seven-Eleven Japan, a subsidiary of supermarket chain Ito-Yokado Co., said its consolidated net profit in fiscal 2000 rose 11.6 percent from the previous year to 80.19 billion yen, boosted by strong convenience store sales.

Group revenue increased 6.3 percent to 358.45 billion yen, while pretax profit climbed 4.6 percent to 148.29 billion yen, the company said.

Seven-Eleven attributed the results to the strong performance of its stores, where it has improved various food products. The company expanded its branches a record 458 during the year to 8,661.

Electronic commerce operations and food delivery services also contributed to the strong consolidated earnings results, the company said.

Seven-Eleven plans to pay a yearend dividend of 15.50 yen per share, bringing the annual dividend payment to 30 yen.

For the current business year, which began March 1, Seven-Eleven expects 82.3 billion yen in consolidated net profit, 148.3 billion yen in pretax profit and 386 billion yen in revenue.

On an unconsolidated basis, Seven-Eleven posted a pretax profit of 147.16 billion yen, up 5 percent, and net profit of 78.37 billion yen, up 14.9 percent. , on revenue of 346.92 billion yen, up 6.1 percent.

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