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Japan's Shimamura posts record first half profit, holds prices steady

TOKYO : Shimamura Co, Japan's second-biggest clothing seller, reported record half-year profit on Monday as sales increased at the low-cost retailer amid surging inflation throughout the economy.

Operating profit in the six months to Aug. 20 jumped 14 per cent to 28.9 billion yen ($199 million), a record for the first half, the company said after the market closed. It held its full-year profit estimate at 52.1 billion yen.

"The cost inflation situation is continuing, of course, but at the moment we're not seeing a big impact," chief executive Makoto Suzuki told reporters.

The company, which competes in lower-cost basics, may be benefiting as consumers shift towards cheaper goods to account for higher prices elsewhere in the economy.

Other major Japanese retailers haven't fared so well. Shares in furniture seller Nitori Holdings Inc plunged on Monday after the company reported an 11 per cent drop in first-half profit and said it may have to raise prices by 10 per cent to account for increasing costs and the weak yen.

Nishimatsuya Chain Co, a major seller of children's clothes, last week slashed its full-year profit forecast, citing the yen's decline.

($1 = 145.0700 yen)

Source: Reuters
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