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Uniqlo Operator Reports Record Half-Year Profit Despite China Slowdown

The Uniqlo Global Flagship Store in Shanghai Fast Retailing
The retailer said it expects revenue declines and a large drop in profits in its Greater China segment in the second half. (Fast Retailing)

Clothing brand Uniqlo’s Japanese owner reported a record half-year profit on Thursday, even as Covid-19 lockdowns in China hampered sales in its biggest overseas market.

Fast Retailing Co said operating profit climbed 18 percent to 189 billion yen ($1.51 billion) in the six months through February from a year earlier.

The results were buoyed by sales growth in North America, Europe, and other parts of Asia, while revenue and profit declined in China.

Fast Retailing is a bellwether for how major global retailers are being impacted by Covid-related shutdowns in China, one of the biggest growth markets for many Western brands.

The retailer said it expects revenue declines and a large drop in profits in its Greater China segment in the second half and for the whole of fiscal 2022.

The company maintained its full-year profit forecast at 270 billion yen. That compares with a consensus forecast for annual profit to total 278 billion yen, according to a Refinitiv poll of 11 analysts.

By Rocky Swift; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

Learn more:

Uniqlo Reverses Course to Suspend Operations in Russia

The decision comes as the company faced public pressure to halt operations in the country, as a wave of retailers, including fast fashion rivals H&M and Zara, shut up shop.

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