Fast Retailing Shares Reach Record in Tokyo as Sales Surge

Uniqlo Ad Campaign Autumn/Winter 2012 | Source: Uniqlo

TOKYO, Japan — Fast Retailing Co., Asia’s largest apparel retailer, rose to a record in Tokyo trading after saying warmer weather and an extra Sunday in March fueled the biggest monthly sales jump in more than three years.

The maker of Uniqlo brand casual clothes rose 6.7 percent to 33,400 yen as of 9:11 a.m. in Tokyo trading, headed for the highest close on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales at stores open at least a year in Japan climbed 23 percent last month from a year earlier as warmer-than-average weather boosted demand for spring clothing and the month included one more Sunday than in 2012, the company said yesterday in a statement after market hours.

“This is an impressive showing, even taking into account the run of warm weather, and the calendar effect,” Hidehiko Aoki, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote today in a note to clients. The additional Sunday added about 3 percentage points to sales growth, said Aoki, who raised his price objective for the shares to 34,400 yen and maintained a buy rating.

The sales increase was the biggest since October 2009, according to the statement.

By: Dave McCombs; Editor: Aaron Clark