Lawson Inc., the nation’s second-largest convenience-store chain operator, said Tuesday its group pretax profit fell 10.9 percent to 35.21 billion yen in the year ended Feb. 28.

Lawson put the drop mainly to increased marketing costs and store rent.

Group net profit dropped 1.5 percent to 16.12 billion yen on an 8.6 percent fall in group operating revenue to 256.12 billion yen.

Its consolidated per-share net profit came to 145.54 yen, down from 147.63 yen for the previous year.

The company blamed the decline in group net profit on extra allowances of 2.69 billion yen paid under an early retirement program and one-time losses of 6.02 billion yen in selling fixed assets following store closures.

For the year through Feb. 28, 2003, Lawson expects to post a group pretax profit of 33 billion yen and a group net profit of 10 billion yen on group operating revenue of 249 billion yen.

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