Japanese retailer Ito-Yokado has posted a 59.8% fall in group net profit for the fiscal year to 28 February due to the increasing cost go store closures and renovations.

The supermarket operator, which holds a 50.1% stake in Japan's top convenience store Seven-Eleven Japan, reported group net profit of ¥21.02bn (US$175.7m), compared to ¥52.32bn in the previous year.

The results were in line with a median forecast from 19 brokerages polled by Multex for a net profit of ¥20bn, which was the same as Ito-Yokado's own forecast, reported Reuters.

The retailer's consolidated revenues increased 5.1% to a record ¥3.34trn.

Steady sales at the group's supermarkets and continued expansion by Seven-Eleven Japan were offset by high spending on the renovation of more than a quarter of Ito-Yokado's 177 general merchandise stores and the closing of six outlets during the 2002/03 year.

For its current financial year, Ito-Yokado has forecast group net profit of ¥51bn on revenues of ¥3.40trn.

The company also announced that its president, Toshifumi Suzuki is to step down on 22 May and senior managing director Sakae Isaka is to become president.

Suzuki will become chairman and chief executive officer.