Aeon hopes for recovery by early May from sales tax hike

TOKYO, April 10 Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:02am EDT

TOKYO, April 10 (Reuters) - Aeon Co Ltd, Japan's largest retailer, hopes for a bounce back by early May from the impact of an April 1 sales tax hike, Senior Executive Vice President Soichi Okazaki told an earnings briefing on Thursday.

He said a recovery from the effects of the increase in the sales tax, which rose to 8 percent from 5 percent and has weighed on spending, would be faster than occurred in 1997, when a tax hike ushered in a prolonged slump in consumer sentiment. (Reporting by Ritsuko Shimizu; Writing by Edmund Klamann; Editing by Dominic Lau)