October 6, 2016 / 6:31 AM / 10 months ago

Japan's Seven & i agrees business alliance with H2O Retailing

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TOKYO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd, Japan's second-biggest retailer by sales, on Thursday said it has entered a capital and business alliance with smaller peer H2O Retailing Corp, with both companies planning to take a 3 percent stake in each other.

Separately, Seven & i said it aims to boost annual operating profit to 450 billion yen ($4.34 billion) by the business year ending Feb. 28, 2021.

The operator of Seven Eleven convenience stores last week lowered its full-year operating profit forecast for the current year ending Feb. 28 to 353 billion yen from an earlier estimate of 379 billion yen amid a downturn in consumer spending.

In the six months ended Aug. 31, operating profit rose 5.2 percent to 181 billion yen, the company also said on Thursday. ($1 = 103.6000 yen) (Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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