Uniqlo owner posts 23% jump in HY profit, raises annual profit estimate

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TOKYO -Japan's Fast Retailing, the owner of clothing brand Uniqlo, reported on Thursday a 23% jump in half-yearly operating profit and raised its full-year profit estimate.

Fast Retailing said operating profit was 168 billion yen ($1.53 billion) in the six months through February against 136.7 billion yen a year earlier.

The company raised its full-year operating profit forecast to 255 billion yen from 245 billion yen. The average estimate in a Refinitiv poll of 15 analysts was 262.9 billion yen.

Fast Retailing has been among the most resilient retailers during the coronavirus pandemic, as Uniqlo's focus on China and Japan helped it escape the worst of the retail downturn that hit the United States and Europe.

Uniqlo briskly sold masks and saw strong demand for its stay-at-home jogging pants and other comfortable apparel.

($1 = 109.6500 yen)

(Reporting by Junko Fujita and Rocky Swift in Tokyo; Editing by David Goodman and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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