Uniqlo owner’s shares surge on profit forecast

Fast Retailing shares surged to the highest level this year in Tokyo trading today after the owner of clothing brand Uniqlo posted a record quarterly profit and raised full-year forecasts.

The stock rose as much as 8.5 per cent, its biggest one-day gain since April 15, and headed for the highest close since November 2021.

Strong results in North America and Europe helped offset sharp declines in sales and profit in China, Fast Retailing’s biggest foreign market that has been hampered by Covid-19 restrictions on mobility and business, the company said.

The yen’s slide to a 24-year low of 139 to the US dollar is also providing a boost by lifting the repatriated value of overseas earnings.

“China, for obvious reasons, was a headwind, but the continued recovery in all other regions was impressive,” said Mark Chadwick, an analyst who publishes on the Smartkarma research platform.

“The US and European regions both became profitable in the quarter. It seems as though Uniqlo really has good product market fit in the US now, and we are looking forward to a more aggressive expansion across the States,” he added.

Operating profit for the three-month period to the end of May jumped 37 per cent from a year earlier to US$587.4 million, an all-time high, the company said after the close of trading on Thursday.

The company raised its dividend and lifted its full-year operating profit forecast by 17 per cent to $2.087 billion.

  • Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Jamie Freed, of Reuters.

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