* Quarterly operating profit drops 17.3 pct
* Retains full-year profit forecast
TOKYO Oct 12 Japan's top supermarket operator
Aeon Co Ltd booked a 17.3 percent drop in operating
profit in the June-August quarter compared with last year, as a
result of lower sales at its supermarkets and convenience
stores, but the firm retained its full-year profit forecast.
Aeon, which ranks second to Japan's top general retailer,
Seven & I Holdings Co in terms of market capitalisation
and competes with Seiyu, the Japanese arm of Wal-Mart Stores
, posted on Friday a June-August operating profit of 39.7
billion yen ($505.67 million).
That fell short of a median estimate of 50.25 billion yen in
a poll of 13 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The owner of supermarkets as well as convenience stores,
boutiques and shopping malls, stuck to its forecast for a
210-220 billion yen operating profit in its business year to
next February. The average estimate was 212 billion yen in a
poll of 13 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
A decline in demand after last year's post-quake sales
bounce, and intense competition over food prices at big stores
has weighed on profits at Japan's major general retailers this
Aeon's first half operating profit was down 7.5 percent
Shares in Aeon have fallen about 19 percent in the year to
date, underperforming a nearly 2 percent decline in the
benchmark Nikkei average.