TOKYO Jan 8 Seven & I Holdings Co's
nine-month operating profit eked out a 0.1 percent rise as
higher profits from its 7-Eleven convenience stores helped
offset weaker revenue from other retail formats, leading the
Japanese firm to maintain its record annual outlook.
The parent owner of 7-Eleven, the world's largest
convenience store chain, reported on Tuesday an operating profit
of 216.4 billion yen ($2.47 billion) for the nine months to Nov.
Seven & I, which competes at home with Aeon Co Ltd
and Seiyu Group, the Japanese arm of Wal-Mart Stores Inc
, maintained its record 308 billion yen operating profit
forecast for the year to February, which is in-line with analyst
views for Japan's largest general retailer by market
An increase in merchandise variety, including adding cooking
oils, fresh vegetables and lower priced private-brand items to
shelves, has helped Japanese convenience stores increase their
appeal to new customer demographics like women and the elderly.
Seven & I shares rose more than 13 percent in the 2012
calendar year, against a 23 percent surge in the benchmark