Japan's Uniqlo to boost US stores as profit jumps

T-shirts are displayed at Fast Retailing's Uniqlo casual clothing store in Tokyo on Thursday, July 11, 2013. The operator of Japanese cheap-chic clothing chain Uniqlo said on Thursday it will open 10 new stores in the United States, as it report
T-shirts are displayed at Fast Retailing's Uniqlo casual clothing store in Tokyo on Thursday, July 11, 2013. The operator of Japanese cheap-chic clothing chain Uniqlo said on Thursday it will open 10 new stores in the United States, as it reported a 22 per cent jump in net profit. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - The operator of Japanese cheap-chic clothing chain Uniqlo said on Thursday it will open 10 new stores in the United States, as it reported a 22 per cent jump in net profit.

For the nine months to May, Fast Retailing booked a net profit of 88.4 billion yen (S$1.1 billion).

Operating profit edged up 4.0 per cent to 124.0 billion yen on sales of 885.8 billion yen, an increase of 19.1 per cent on-year, the retailer said in a statement.

For the full year to August, it expects a net profit of 91.5 billion yen, up 27.7 per cent on-year, on sales of 1.1 trillion yen, up 18.8 per cent.

The brisk figures are chiefly due to increases both in sales and profit in its business in Asia, it said.

Separately, it said it will open the new US stores later this year, more than doubling its presence. The new outlets will be in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California.

"To staff the new stores, Uniqlo will take on the ambitious plan to hire and train several hundred full-time and part-time employees at all levels," it said.

"The new Uniqlo stores represent the company's goal for a continued expansion within the important US market," it said, adding new stores will be in shopping centres and retail mall spaces.