Muji parent Ryohin Keikaku chalks up record quarterly sales, profit

Muji parent Ryohin Keikaku has revealed another record quarter in both sales and operating profit.

In the three months to May, Muji achieved group-wide sales of 106.5 billion yen (US$963.5 million), up 9.7 per cent year on year. Its net profit reached 9.5 billion yen, its best quarterly result ever.

Citing strong sales in its Japan home market, and the broader Asia-Pacific region, Muji’s president Satoru Matsuzaki said the company expects even better results to come from overseas markets in the future.

With profit in Japan, where the population is declining, up a modest 1 per cent, its East Asian surplus soared 36 per cent during the quarter.

Looking forward, Muji expects strong growth in China. Sales there accounted for 17 per cent of the group’s sales during the quarter, making it the second-largest market for the brand behind Japan, with 65 per cent.

Muji will start designing products in China for Chinese, after some previous missteps with items created in Japan. Matsuzaki cited water bottles as an example, which Chinese consumers shunned because they were too small.

“We want to sell appropriate products to match China,” he said.

Muji this week revealed plans to open an office in Switzerland which will become the headquarters for its struggling European business. Despite a loss of 273 million yen in Europe and North America during the quarter, the company is confident it can turn the business around and is planning more stores in both regions.

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