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TOKYO – Japanese fast fashion group Fast Retailing Co, which owns clothing brand Uniqlo, has reported record profits of over US$2bn. The business announced an operating profit 297.3 billion yen (US$2.02 billion) in the 12 months to August, compared with 249 billion yen a year earlier.

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Fast Retailing said its full-year net profit rose 61 per cent, in a large part thanks to increased sales in North America, Europe and Asia outside Japan.

The fashion group said it expected a further rise of more than 15 per cent in revenues in the current fiscal year to August 2023. However, the company warned that the “business environment continues to be severe in light of progressive inflation and the rapid depreciation of the yen.”

China is Uniqlo’s second largest market, but the business has expanded its European and US operations in recent years. While Greater China accounts for about half of Uniqlo’s sales revenues from outside Japan, China sales remained sluggish and profits have declined.

Fast Retailing said it expects net profit for the current fiscal year, ending next August, to fall by almost 16 per cent year on year to 230 billion yen (US$1.57bn), taking into account foreign exchange effects.

Uniqlo has already raised the prices of fleece, down jackets and other autumn and winter products in Japan in response to rising material prices and logistics costs.

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