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April 10, 2008

JAPAN: Lawson posts 4.7% rise in FY operating profit

Japanese convenience store group Lawson has posted a 4.7% increase in operating profit for the fiscal year ending 29 February 2008 to JPY46.61bn (US$463.72m), on the back of growing sales and store refurbishments.

Japanese convenience store group Lawson has posted a 4.7% increase in operating profit for the fiscal year ending 29 February 2008 to JPY46.61bn (US$463.72m), on the back of growing sales and store refurbishments.

The company, which is Japan’s second largest c-store operator, reported a 5% rise in net profit to JPY22.12bn, on revenues up 6.4% at JPY301.18bn.

The results came in within the company’s forecasts. “Existing store sales started to show clear signs of a recovery since January this year thanks to renovations,” Lawson president Takeshi Niinami said.

However, same-store sales fell by 0.8%, though this decline was smaller than the one observed in the previous fiscal year.

The company said that while the Japanese economy experienced stable growth over the year, there were signs of a slowdown in the market as a result of factors including rising crude oil prices and the subprime mortgage crisis, while consumer spending was flat.

Lawson said it had adhered rigidly to its set of standards for opening new stores, with the aim of opening new outlets in areas promising high profitability, principally in the Tokyo, Kinki and Chubu areas.

The company’s annual dividend for 2008 was increased to JPY110 per share from JPY100 per share in 2006.

For the current fiscal year, Lawson is forecasting an operating profit of JPY42.5bn, a net profit of JPY20.8bn, and turnover of JPY313bn.

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