TOKYO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Japan’s Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd on Thursday said its operating profit rose 7.2 percent in the six months ended August, helped by a steady growth in sales across its 7-Eleven convenience stores.
Its operating profit came in at 194.5 billion yen ($1.73 billion) for the first half of its financial year, up from 181.5 billion yen a year ago. This was above an average estimate of 190.1 billion yen from two analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
The company, which has nearly 20,000 7-Eleven stores in Japan and 8,500 in the United States, has been benefiting from the popularity of convenience stores as traditional general merchandising outlets struggle to attract shoppers.
For the full-year through February, the company kept its forecast of 386.5 billion yen for operating profit, up 6 percent from the previous year and below an average estimate of 390.1 billion yen in a poll of 16 analysts by Thomson Reuters. ($1 = 112.2700 yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Himani Sarkar)