• Kyodo News

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Retailer Ryohin Keikaku Co. said Wednesday its group net profit in fiscal 2008 to February sank 35.1 percent from the previous year to ¥6.94 billion.

The retailer of the brandless Muji brand products blamed the plunge on anemic consumer spending caused by the economic crisis, as well as on appraisal losses on securities holdings and the yen’s sharp appreciation, which affected earnings at its overseas subsidiaries, the firm said.

Group operating profit in the year fell 7.3 percent to ¥17.22 billion on ¥163.76 billion in sales, up 0.6 percent.

The number of its retail outlets in Japan stood at 342 at the end of February after the company opened 26 new stores and closed 12 in the year. Meanwhile, the firm opened 26 stores overseas, bringing the number of its outlets abroad to 98.

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