Japanese convenience retailer Lawson Inc has forecast higher sales and profits in its new financial year.

For the new financial year, which started on 1 March, Lawson expects net income to increase 8.2% to JPY35.9bn (US$366.2bn). It sees operating income up 5.7% at JPY70bn and has forecast a 5.9% rise in operating revenues to JPY516bn.

In the year ended 28 February, net income rose a third to JPY33.18bn. In the comparable period last year, the retailer incurred losses stemming from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

Operating profit in the period amounted to JPY66.25bn, an 7.2% increase on the prior year.

Total operating revenues were up 1.8% to JPY487.45bn on the back of store openings and efforts to expand its customer base. Lawson said it opened 666 stores bringing the total number to 10,976.

President and CEO Takeshi Niinami noted the comparison between Lawson’s sales with a year earlier, when the disaster boosted sales at convenience stores. However, he said initiatives including investment in fresh food boosted revenues in the last 12 months.