Japanese grocery retailer Seiyu, an affiliate of US retail titan Wal-Mart, has reported a narrower first-half loss, helped by cost cuts.

Seiyu posted a consolidated net loss of ¥2.88bn (US$26.2m) for the six-month period, compared to a net loss of ¥8.43bn a year earlier, reported Reuters. Revenues were ¥527.38bn, compared to ¥557.95bn in the year-ago period.

"We have been steadily proceeding with cost-cutting measures," Seiyu's president, Masao Kiuchi, was quoted by Reuters as saying. "Raising sales is now our major task, but prices are still under heavy downward pressure and we can't be optimistic about an early upturn."

Seiyu, which is 37.8% owned by Wal-Mart, is Japan's fourth-largest supermarket chain, with 400 stores.