October 13, 2016 / 6:41 AM / 10 months ago

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing sees record profit in 2017

TOKYO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing Co Ltd forecast on Thursday a record operating profit for the 2017 financial year due to an expected rise in domestic in-store and online sales, and further growth at its stores in China and Southeast Asia.

Asia's biggest clothing retailer by sales said it expected operating profit to jump 37.5 percent to a record high of 175.0 billion yen ($1.70 billion) for the year ending in August 2017, a touch higher than the average estimate of 174.2 billion yen from 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/.

Operating profit at the Japanese company fell 22.6 percent to 127.3 billion yen in the year just ended, compared with the firm's forecast for 120 billion yen.

Full-year operating profit slid for the first time in five years due to currency related losses, while impairment losses linked to its J Brand brand and store closures at home and in the United States also weighed on the company's bottom line. ($1 = 102.9000 yen) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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