TOKYO , Jan. 9 -- ( Kyodo ) _ Fast Retailing Co. , operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, said Thursday its group sales and net profit hit record highs for the September to November period. Its sales increased 22.3 percent from a year earlier to 389.05 billion yen , while its net profit rose 8.8 percent to 41.85 billion yen . The operating profit was up 13.1 percent to 64.03 billion yen . The earnings reflected the company's robust performances overseas with sales outside Japan surging 76.8 percent and operating profit soaring 97.0 percent. The company saw especially strong sales in China , South Korea and the United States in line with openings of new stores there. Chief Financial Officer Takeshi Okazaki said at a press conference, "The brand's reputation has been boosted in Europe and the United States ." As for domestic business, its sales rose 1.8 percent and operating profit climbed 6.2 percent due to brisk sales of products such as cashmere as well as bulk purchases of its "heattech" underclothes. Touching on a wage hike urged by the government, Okazaki said, "We're improving conditions for shop staff but have not decided any plan."
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