TOKYO Oct 4 Seven & I Holdings Co's
first-half operating profit edged down 2 percent as weaker sales
at its supermarkets offset growth from its convenience stores,
leading Japan's top general retailer to pare its annual outlook.
The owner of 7-Eleven, the world's largest convenience store
chain, reported on Thursday that operating profit slipped to
147.2 billion yen ($1.87 billion) for the half year to Aug. 31,
its first fall in three years for the period.
Seven & I, which competes at home with Aeon Co and
Seiyu, the Japan arm of Wal-Mart Stores, forecast an
operating profit in the full year to next February of 308
billion yen, down from its earlier estimate of 315 billion yen.
That compares with the average estimate of 310.9 billion yen
in a poll of 18 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S for Japan's
largest general retailer in terms of market capitalization.
A decline in demand after last year's post-quake sales
bounce and intense competition over food prices at large-scale
stores and supermarkets looks to have weighing on the profits of
Japan's major general retailers.
Seven & I shares have risen nearly 10 percent in the year to
date, higher than a 4 percent gain in the benchmark Nikkei
average. On Thursday its shares gained 1.7 percent to
close at 2,372 yen.