Japanese supermarket group Aeon has reported a 9.5% fall in quarterly operating profit, as warm weather in November led to slower sales of seasonal items.


The company said operating profit was ¥16.6bn (US$153.4m) for the third quarter to 20 November, while sales rose 8.4% to ¥824.5bn.


“Unfavourable weather slashed the profit margin in November, although sales increased thanks to the opening of new stores and the acquisition of rival stores,” a company spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying.  


Aeon is expected to overtake Ito-Yokado as Asia’s biggest retailer in the 2004/05 business year, when earnings from recently acquired supermarket chain Mycal will be added to its consolidated accounts.

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