• Kyodo News

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Aeon Co. said Wednesday its group operating profit and revenues in the business year to February 2007 were at an all-time high for the seventh straight year, backed by brisk food sales at its supermarkets.

The retail giant said its consolidated operating profit grew 14.2 percent from the previous year to 189.73 billion yen on revenues of 4.82 trillion yen, up 8.9 percent.

Aeon said the upbeat figures were also seen as it turned shopping center developer Diamond City Co. into a consolidated subsidiary.

Its group net profit jumped 99.3 percent to 57.66 billion yen, due in part to the absence of big asset impairment losses posted in the previous year, and pretax profit was 188.30 billion yen, up 7.0 percent and also a record for the seventh consecutive year.

Aeon, based in Chiba Prefecture, acquired about a 15 percent stake in Daiei Inc. last month, creating the largest retail group, with trading house Marubeni Corp.

The trilateral tieup will generate more than 6 trillion yen in sales, surpassing those of Aeon’s major rival, Seven & I Holdings Co., which owns supermarket chain Ito-Yokado Co. and convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan Co.

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