JAPAN: Retailer Lawson grows profits despite muted consumers
Japanese c-store retailer Lawson Inc has reported higher half-year profits despite concerns over consumer confidence in the country in recent months.
Lawson booked operating profit of JPY34.5bn for the six months to the end of August, up 6.1% on the year.
The rise in profits came on the back of a 3.7% increase in revenues to JPY249bn. President and CEO Takeshi Niinami said the retailer, which runs over 10,750 stores in Japan, had managed to overcome "waning" consumer confidence in between June and August.
"Our cumulative sales at existing stores on a non-consolidated basis for the first six months increased 1% year on year and were in line with our initial plan. Contrary to the first quarter (March to May) when we recorded significant growth from the same quarter of the previous year, the second quarter (June to August) was affected by waning consumer sentiment, that was triggered by the global economic slowdown, on top of a high hurdle to outperform results a year ago, when the hot weather contributed to sales growth," Niinami said.
"However, we are regarded highly by our customers, in particular our new customer groups of seniors and women, for providing the value of convenience stores as neighborhood stores. We are pleased that our customer base has continued to grow and the number of loyal customers has been steadily increasing."
Lawson also reported a net profit of JPY17.8bn, almost double the level of last year when one-off charges, including costs from the earthquake and tsunami disasters, hit earnings.
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