Japanese convenience operator Lawson today (11 January) recorded rise in net profit for the first the nine months of its fiscal year despite lower sales.

The retailer drove down costs and lapped the first nine months of last year’s fiscal year when the business was hit by higher one-off costs.

Lawson posted net profit of JPY20.8bn (US$250.4m) for the nine months to 30 November, a 5% increase on the previous year. Operating profit was up 4.4% at JPY45.92bn

Revenue, however, was down 2.5% against the same period of last year to JPY331.1bn.

The company is forecasting a 6% drop in revenues for the full year to JPY439bn but expects net profit to increase 84.7% to JPY23.2bn.