Seven & i Holdings, Japan's biggest retailer, has seen its first-half operating profit rise by 2.8%, helped by strong growth in its convenience store business.

For the period to 31 August, operating profit rose to JPY148bn (US$1.46bn) from JPY144bn in the corresponding period last year.

Net income dropped 2.4% to JPY67.5m from JPY69.1m a year ago.

Revenue from operations was up 1.6% to JPY2.86bn from JPY2.81bn last year.

The company maintained its forecast for full-year profit to rise 4.9% to YPY137bn.