• Kyodo News

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Restaurant chain Yoshinoya Holdings Co. said Tuesday that group operating profit dived 42.4 percent to ¥3.58 billion in the year to Feb. 28 as higher material costs and flagging personal consumption hammered its profitability.

But in its earnings report for the 12-month period, Yoshinoya, known for its mainstay “gyudon” beef bowls, said that sales surged 11.9 percent to a record ¥174.25 billion after turning beef steak chain Don Co. into a subsidiary through a tender offer, consolidating Don’s financial results into its own.

Yoshinoya managed to jack up net profit by 12 percent to ¥208 million on the basis of proceeds from sales of fixed properties.

The company said its network of affiliated restaurants is set to expand at the fastest pace ever during the current business year as it plans to add 120 new shops at home and 50 shops overseas.

“We are well prepared for both our company’s in-house position of actively opening new shops, and for market conditions, such as falling rents (for shops),” President Shuji Abe told a news conference.

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