• Kyodo News

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J. Front Retailing Co., the parent of Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores Co., said Tuesday its group operating profit in fiscal 2009 declined 33.8 percent from the previous year to ¥18.58 billion as group sales declined 10.4 percent to ¥982.53 billion.

Consolidated pretax profit for the year that ended in February fell 29.4 percent to ¥19.97 billion. But group net profit increased 13.9 percent to ¥8.17 billion on special profits from fixed asset and securities sales. J. Front cut its dividend payout for fiscal 2009 to ¥7 per share from ¥8 in the previous year.

For the current fiscal year, J. Front expects to see a 12.6 percent increase in group net profit to ¥9.2 billion on ¥970 billion in sales, down 1.3 percent.

In fiscal 2009, J. Front promoted the expansion of some existing stores such as the Daimaru Umeda in Osaka and the Daimaru Tokyo, while shutting down the Matsuzakaya Okazaki store in Aichi Prefecture. It also decided to close the Matsuzakaya Nagoya Station store.

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