• Fast Retailing Chairman and CEO Tadashi Yanai Attends an Earnings News Conference

Fast Retailing Chairman and CEO Tadashi Yanai Attends an Earnings News Conference (Photo : Getty Images)

Fast Retailing, the company that runs the popular casual clothing chain Uniqlo, takes pleasure in its rapid growth with China and Southeast Asia as its key drivers.

The Japanese firm declared a 97.23 billion yen ($890 million) profit from September last year up to February of the current year. The numbers are almost double from the 47.04 billion yen year-on-year. The company’s fiscal year begins in September.

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The major drivers of growth for Fast retailing were its stores outside its home base. A 66 percent increase to 48.77 billion yen operating profit was recorded for its Uniqlo outlets abroad. On the other hand, the revenue from its Japanese stores grew by 7 percent to 68.78 billion yen.

“Profits in China and Southeast Asia significantly contributed,” Fast Retailing Chairman, President and CEO Tadashi Yanai said at a press conference in Tokyo.

The company said that Chinese customers were drawn to Uniqlo stores with promotions related to China’s national holidays. Its Chinese business also benefited from the expansion of e-commerce.

For the Southeast Asia outlets, regional items such as summer wear and hijabs, the head coverings used by Muslim women, were highly marketable.

On the contrary, Uniqlo stores in the United States experienced a great loss, with a 300 million yen loss on the closure of one outlet.

Fast Retailing had 832 Uniqlo stores in Japan, 514 in China, 25 in Singapore, 37 in Malaysia, 34 in Thailand, 35 in the Philippines and 10 in Indonesia as of Feb. 28, 2017. Fifty-one stores were added to the total number of outlets during the six-month period.

Speaking about its Japanese market, Yanai emphasized that the company “is not considering raising prices at all,” explaining that the wage levels in Japan have not been raised enough.

Yanai said that the company will keep its usual “everyday reasonable price” strategy instead.

Fast Retailing continues to expand and benefit from the economic growth of China and Southeast Asia.