After recording significant growth in fiscal 2017, Japanese retailer Aeon Co. Ltd. expects to see further profit improvement ahead.
For the fiscal year ended Feb. 28, profit attributable to owners of the parent grew 87.3% year over year to ¥11.26 billion from ¥6.01 billion in the previous year. Diluted EPS came in at ¥13.20, compared with ¥7.02 in fiscal 2016.
The S&P Capital IQ consensus GAAP EPS estimate for fiscal 2017 was ¥12.97.
Looking to the next fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 2018, Aeon expects profit attributable to owners of the parent to increase 33.3% year over year to ¥15.0 billion and EPS to grow to ¥17.90.
The S&P Capital IQ consensus GAAP EPS estimate for fiscal 2018 is ¥20.61.
During fiscal 2017, the company's operating income was ¥184.74 billion, growing 4.4% year over year from ¥176.98 billion, while operating revenue increased 0.4% to ¥8.210 trillion from ¥8.177 trillion in the year-ago period.
Aeon said results for the fiscal year were boosted by rising operating income in its various business segments, including supermarkets and discount stores, financial services, drugstores and pharmacies, services and specialty stores, small-sized stores and shopping center development.
However, the general merchandise store segment posted a 73.6% drop in operating income to ¥2.48 billion, while the company's international business, which spans Southeast Asia and Greater China, recorded an operating loss of ¥5.40 billion.
Aeon recommended a year-end dividend of ¥15.00 per share, bringing the total dividend for fiscal 2017 to ¥30.00 per share. It also forecasts a total dividend of ¥30.00 per share for fiscal 2018, comprising an interim payment of ¥15.00 per share and a year-end payment of ¥15.00 per share.
As of April 11, US$1 was equivalent to ¥109.70.