Retail in Asia


UNIQLO International reports a record performance in the Greater China region


Revenues at Uniqlo parent company Fast Retailing reached 2.1329 trillion yen (US$18.7 billion) in the year to August 2021, an increase of 6.2 percent on the previous year, with operating profit reaching 249 billion yen (US$2.19 billion) (+66.7 percent). In the coming year – to August 2022, it expects to report full year sales of 2,200 billion yen (US$19.3 million) (+3.1 percent) and consolidated operating profit of 270 billion yen (US$2.37 billion) (+8.4 percent).

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Within that, Uniqlo International recorded significant increases in both revenue and profit in fiscal 2021, with revenue rising to 930.1 billion yen (US$8.18 billion) (+10.2 percent year-on-year) and operating profit expanding to 111.2 billion yen (US$977.8 million) (+121.4 percent year-on-year). While segment performance is still being heavily impacted by COVID-19, performance has recovered strongly in regions and during periods when infections were contained.

Fast Retailing says that Uniqlo International saw a “record performance” in the Greater China region (Mainland China market, Hong Kong market and Taiwan market), where both revenues and profits grew quickly. In both Europe and North America, sales recovered quickly as trading and lockdown restrictions eased. Uniqlo Europe moved back into profit, while Uniqlo North America halved its full-year operating loss. But sales and profits fell in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania, as a result of COVID-19.

Uniqlo International online sales grew by 20 percent during its latest financial year, to account for about 20 percent of total sales – thanks to a strong performance in the China region and fast Covid-19 recoveries in Europe and North America. Strong e-commerce sales helped drive rising sales and profits at Uniqlo’s Europe business. Uniqlo parent company Fast Retailing now plans to expand its e-commerce business quickly.

“E-commerce enables us to connect directly with customers so expanding e-commerce should help increase overall sales,” Fast Retailing says in its full-year figures.

Uniqlo Japan reported revenue of 842.6 billion yen (US$7.41 billion )(+4.4 percent year-on-year) and a large increase in operating profit to 123.2 billion yen (US$1.08 billion) (+17.7 percent year-on-year) in fiscal 2021. The performance is slightly below plan.

Uniqlo is prioritising both digital commerce and sustainability in fiscal 2022 as they plan to accelerate their transformation into a digital consumer retailing company.

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Looking ahead, Fast Retailing predicts revenue and profit will decline in the first half from 1st September 2021 to 28th February 2022 based primarily on assumptions that COVID-19 restrictions and temporary store closures will continue to a certain extent and their decision to incorporate some negative impact from production or transportation delays. However, revenue is expected to rise and profits to expand significantly in the second half from 1st March to 31st August 2022, assuming COVID-19 restrictions have been eased and business is able to continue broadly uninterrupted.