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Staff report

FamilyMart Co., the nation’s third-largest convenience chain, said Wednesday its group net profit for the first half of fiscal 2003 edged up 0.7 percent to 7.93 billion yen.

Revenue for the chain during the March-August period was up 2.3 percent from a year earlier to 114.46 billion yen, while sales at all 9,679 FamilyMart outlets, including those outside Japan, rose 1.8 percent to 595.4 billion yen.

The chain said its Taiwan and South Korean operations contributed to the increase in profit. FamilyMart has a combined 3,586 outlets in these two economies as well as in Thailand.

The firm also said it cut 1.3 billion yen in expenses through the reduction in facility maintenance costs and computer system running fees.

The chain said it will open FamilyMart stores for the first time in China, with 25 outlets planned for the Shanghai area.

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