• Kyodo News

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Fast Retailing Co., operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing stores, reported Thursday it had record-high consolidated sales and operating profit for September to February on the back of brisk demand for autumn and winter products.

The company revised upward its full-year forecast for the financial year ending in August, also projecting record sales and profit.

For the six-month period to February, the company booked an all-time-high operating profit of ¥99.89 billion, up 43.0 percent from a year earlier, on sales of ¥470.97 billion, up 31.8 percent.

The Uniqlo chain has outperformed rivals in the sluggish retail industry on the back of hit products such as Heat Tech thermal underwear and winter down jackets.

Looking ahead, the company said it now anticipates a record net profit of ¥71 billion, up from a profit of ¥67.5 billion projected in January, on record sales of ¥834 billion, compared with an earlier forecast for ¥820 billion. Fast Retailing also revised upward its full-year dividend forecast for fiscal 2010 to ¥230 from ¥200.

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