• Bloomberg


Fast Retailing Co., Asia’s biggest clothing retailer, cut its forecast for annual profit amid slowing demand for the company’s casual clothing in Japan.

Net income will be about ¥88 billion for the year ending August, lower than its previous forecast of ¥92 billion, the Yamaguchi-based company said Thursday.

Billionaire Tadashi Yanai’s casual clothing retailer is betting on overseas growth as an aging population and a sales tax hike on April 1 dampens demand in Japan. Yanai has said he intends to increase outlets in China to 1,000 from the current 267.

Same-store sales for the domestic Uniqlo business rose 2.2 percent for the six months ended February, slower than 3.6 percent growth a year earlier, according to a statement from the company. Sales dropped as much as 14 percent in October, when typhoons in Japan curtailed retail traffic.

Net income dropped to ¥23 billion in the three months ended February. Sales jumped 26 percent to ¥375.3 billion in the second quarter, while operating profit fell to ¥39.2 billion from ¥40 billion a year earlier.

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