Struggling Japanese retailer Seiyu, an affiliate of US retail titan Wal-Mart, has reported a much narrower loss for the first quarter, helped by cost cutting measures and better sales.

Seiyu, in which Wal-Mart has a 37.8% stake, posted a net loss of ¥4.74bn (US$43.4m) for the January to March quarter, compared to a year-ago net loss of ¥47.4bn.

Seiyu said the introduction of Wal-Mart’s supply management systems and low price strategy was beginning to pay off, and reiterated its forecast for a net profit of ¥500m for 2004/05, reported Reuters.