Japan’s fourth-largest supermarket retailer, Seiyu, has reported a first-half group net loss of ¥22.39bn (US$178.6m).

The company said the net loss in the six months to August was due to special charges on restructuring and stock losses.

Last year, Seiyu posted a first-half group net profit of ¥617m.

Seiyu, which operates around 200 core supermarket and general merchandise stores nationwide, said its consolidated group sales rose 7.4 % in the first half to ¥580.86bn.

Seiyu has cut its group full-year net forecast to a ¥21bn loss from an earlier forecast of a ¥3bn profit, but raised its group sales forecast to ¥1.16trn from an earlier forecast of ¥1.15trn.

In March the company announced an equity and operational alliance with the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores.

A gradual implementation of Wal-Mart practices and technology is planned for Seiyu’s operations but analysts say the positive effects of the Wal-Mart connection will remain minimal until the US retail giant takes a larger role in Seiyu’s management, reported Reuters.