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Fast Retailing net profit rises in Q1, but trims outlook

Tokyo -- Fast Retailing Co., operator of the Uniqlo apparel chain, reported Thursday a net profit of $405.3 million for the first quarter, a 37% rise that the company said was due in large part to a change in accounting methods. Operating profit dipped 2.8%.

Sales gained 8.6% overall for the quarter, but the company has trimmed its full-year outlook as sales in its home market remained sluggish.

Fast Retailing has said it plans to open 200-300 stores per year outside Japan to compete with established chains such as Gap Inc. and Spain's Zara, but analysts question whether the overseas growth can be sustained long-term.

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