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Seven & i, Aeon enjoy record profits; Lawson dips

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Retailers Aeon Co. and Seven & i Holdings Co. enjoyed record annual operating profits while Lawson Inc. suffered its first profit fall in 15 years, their earnings reports have shown.

Of the six major retail groups that have released earnings for the year ended in February, four including Aeon and Seven & i reported consolidated operating profit growth.

Aeon saw its profit jump 13.8 percent from the previous year to ¥210,273 million. The growth was led by the general merchandise supermarket store operations, which attracted more visitors by cutting prices and reduced advertising and other costs. Aeon also achieved a turnaround in overseas operations.

Seven & i reported an operating profit of ¥391,657 million, up 7.4 percent, on the back of restructuring efforts at the supermarket division, including the closure of some Ito-Yokado stores.

Aeon and Seven & i are strengthening their online operations to catch up with U.S. online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. and others.

Aeon announced Wednesday that it will invest in U.S. online retail startup Boxed. “We’ll change Aeon,” President Motoya Okada stressed.

Lawson saw its operating profit drop 10.8 percent to ¥65,820 million, as the convenience store operator boosted investment in new technologies including an unmanned cash register system.

“At the moment, we’re laying the groundwork for a V-shaped recovery,” Lawson President Sadanobu Takemasu said.

FamilyMart Uny Holdings Co. logged an operating profit decline of 15.2 percent to ¥27,974 million, due to costs to integrate Circle K and Sunkus convenience stores into the FamilyMart brand.

Department store operators Takashimaya Co. and J. Front Retailing Co., which runs the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya stores, booked operating profits of ¥35,318 million and ¥37,860 million, up 3.9 percent and 29.2 percent, respectively, reflecting an increasing number of visitors from overseas.Speech

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