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Department store operator Mitsukoshi Ltd. said Thursday its group net profit for the six months to Aug. 31 fell 19.5 percent from a year earlier to 2.06 billion yen.

Mitsukoshi, which merged with four domestic units Sept. 1, said sales fell 1.8 percent to 446.28 billion yen. Its Hong Kong unit suffered large sales and profit falls due mainly to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, though its domestic business performed solidly.

In its consolidated earnings report, Mitsukoshi said the bottom-line profit was hit partly by a 1.65 billion yen loss on the retirement of fixed assets.

The retailer said it posted a pretax profit of 3.09 billion yen for the first half, down 29.4 percent.

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