Uniqlo Parent Operating Profit Misses Estimates

Uniqlo's Nanjing Road West Store in Shanghai | Source: Fast Retailing

TOKYO, Japan — Fast Retailing Co., Asia’s biggest clothing retailer, reported third-quarter operating profit below analyst estimates amid more discounts at its domestic outlets.

Operating profit for the three months ended May was 27.4 billion yen ($277 million), according to Bloomberg calculations derived from results provided by the Yamaguchi based casual clothes maker in a stock exchange statement today. That was below the average estimate of 35 billion yen from three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Fast Retailing, led by billionaire Tadashi Yanai, has opened new stores, including one in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, under a plan to revamp the Uniqlo brand’s utilitarian image at home. It is aggressively expanding outside its home market as it targets total sales of 5 trillion yen by 2020.

The company opened its first Uniqlo store in Indonesia in June and plans to enter Melbourne, Australia in 2014, according to its website.

The apparel maker had a total of 2,327 stores globally as of February with 847 Uniqlo stores in Japan and 359 outlets overseas, according to its website. The yen has fallen 12 percent against the dollar this year as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushed for monetary easing to revive the economy.

Yanai, Japan’s richest man, ranked 35th in Bloomberg Billionaires Index with an estimated net worth of $18.9 billion.

By: Yuki Yamaguch; Editors: Anjali Cordeiro, Stephanie Wong