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Hankyu Department Stores Inc. said Wednesday its group pretax profit for fiscal 2000 jumped 25.2 percent to 6.21 billion yen despite a sales drop of 2 percent to 394.96 billion yen.

The Osaka-based store operator attributed the rise to streamlining efforts.

Consolidated net profit, however, fell 25.3 percent to 2.16 billion yen in the year ended March 31, mainly because Hankyu booked 18.22 billion yen as extraordinary losses to cover a shortfall in employee retirement benefit reserves.

Hankyu said that its group suffered lower sales due to sluggish personal consumption. But consolidated operating profit soared 34.6 percent to 5.42 billion yen because of efforts to raise cost efficiency, integrate goods procurement divisions and improve profitability through better inventory management.

On a parent-only basis, Hankyu registered a net profit of 3.21 billion yen, up 17.9 percent, and a pretax profit of 6.92 billion yen, up 30.1 percent, on sales of 298.64 billion yen, down 1.3 percent.

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