Japanese retailer Seiyu, an affiliate of US retail giant Wal-Mart, has reported a second consecutive full-year loss, hit by slow sales and the weak economy.

Seiyu posted a net loss of ¥7.09bn (US$67.2m) for the year to 31 December, on revenues of ¥937.6bn. Due to a change in the company’s accounting period, its latest financial year covered only a ten-month period, reported Reuters. For its previous financial year to February 2003, Seiyu posted a net loss of ¥90.84bn.

Seiyu, which is 37.8% owned by Wal-Mart, said it was targeting a net profit of ¥500m for 2004.

“It was a tough year. But I believe we could lay the foundations for future growth that we expect to come around 2007,” Seiyu President Masao Kiuchi was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Seiyu said its same-store sales fell 3.7% in 2003, as Japanese retailers were hit by unseasonable weather conditions such as a cool summer and mild winter.