• Fast Retailing downgrades profit expectations for second time in three months
  • Uniqlo parent company reports fall in group operating profits of 50%
  • Europe one of the only regions where both revenue and profits rose

Uniqlo’s parent, Fast Retailing, has slashed its profits forecast for the second time in three months, as it struggles at home and abroad.

The retailer cut its full-year profits forecast in January this year.

Yesterday Fast Retailing revealed downgraded profit expectations again, trimming operating profit expectations from Y180bn (£1.18bn) to Y120bn (£780m).

Uniqlo invested in its UK presence with a new flagship store on Oxford Street, which opened last month after more than a year of renovations. The retailer shut its store for the renovations and continued to pay hefty rent while bringing in no returns.

Fast Retailing also reported yesterday that group-wide profit before tax for the first six months of the year plummeted 45% to Y82bn (£540m).

Group sales climbed 6.5% in the same period to Y1trn (£6.53bn), from Y949bn (£6.2bn), up 6.5%.

Europe was one of the only regions to perform well, with revenue and profit both rising, though Fast Retailing did not provide a breakdown of figures.

Internationally, Uniqlo sales were up 12.7% to Y389bn (£2.54bn). Operating profit dropped 31.4% to Y29.4bn (£190m).

It picked out the US, China and South Korea as markets that were performing particularly badly.

The company said while international revenue rises were roughly in line with expectations, “the sharp fall in operating profit was unexpected”.

Fast Retailing said poor winter weather in Japan affected sales in the usually high volume in November and December but did not give a reason for its poor performance internationally.