Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing has reported a record first quarter profit as international sales eclipsed its domestic revenue for the first time.
While Fast Retailing sales in Japan rose 8 per cent to 257 billion yen (US$2.31 billion) for the first quarter ended November, overseas sales surged 31 per cent to 258.2 billion yen.
“Southeast Asia & Oceania contributed to the rise in Uniqlo international revenue thanks to strong sales of summer items designed for year-round hot weather and buoyant demand for winter items from overseas travelers,” the company said in a statement.
In China, Uniqlo is closing in on its target of 1000 stores by 2021 by venturing into second- and third-tier cities, surpassing 600 at the end of last year. India is the next major market on its radar.
As for the home market, Fast Retailing CFO Takeshi Okazaki said while the economy was improving, “we cannot be optimistic that demand is returning to the apparel sector”.
“We aim to make Japan one country in a global business,” he said during an earnings briefing.
Operating profit for the quarter rose 28.6 per cent to US$1 billion in the quarter.