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    International News: Seven & I, FamilyMart Expect Profit Drops from Quake

    Japan's natural disasters and nuclear crisis crimp consumer spending and boost companies' costs.

    TOKYO -- Top Japanese retailer Seven & i Holdings Co. said it expects its earnings to drop 22 percent this fiscal year as the country's natural disasters and nuclear crisis crimp consumer spending and boost company costs, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    The company, which runs 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan and the U.S., as well as Seibu and Sogo department stores and big-box Ito-Yokado stores, forecasts that its net profit will fall to $1.02 billion (¥87.5 billion) for the year through February, according to the report.

    "We expect the quake will strip ¥38.1 billion from our operating profit," President Noritoshi Murata said Thursday as the company reported that earnings doubled for the fiscal year recently ended. Seven & i, Japan's biggest retailer by sales, expects to record a special loss of ¥26 billion to reflect costs for earthquake-damaged stores for the current fiscal year.

    Some 600 of the company's roughly 13,200 domestic 7-Eleven stores closed after the earthquake, with 60 remaining shut. The company said 100 of its 170 York-Benimaru grocery stores, mainly in northern Japan, closed temporarily, the newspaper reported.

    Separately, convenience-store chain FamilyMart Co. forecasts that its profit will fall 33 percent to 45 percent this fiscal year, also citing the March 11 earthquake, after reporting strong earnings for its latest year.

     

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