Uniqlo store in Osaka, Japan | Source: Fast Retailing image libraryTOKYO, Japan — Japan’s Fast Retailing, owner of casual clothing chain Uniqlo, forecast a 44 percent plunge in annual operating profit that was steeper than what it had flagged earlier, hurt by the coronavirus outbreak in its key China market.
The pandemic briefly disrupted Uniqlo’s supply chain throughout China and forced it to shut over half of its shops there.
Most stores in China have reopened and the company said on Thursday that sales had started to recover in the mainland.
The company forecast an operating profit of ¥145 billion (about $1.3 billion) in the full year through end-August, down from a previous forecast of ¥245 billion.
Its operating profit in the six months through end-February fell 21 percent from the same period a year earlier to ¥136.7 billion.

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