April 11, 2018 / 7:05 AM / 9 days ago

Aeon's annual profit rises 14 pct to record, sees further gain this year

TOKYO, April 11 (Reuters) - Aeon Co Ltd, Japan’s largest retailer by sales, said on Wednesday full-year operating profit climbed 14 percent to a record on the back of restructuring efforts.

Operating profit in the year ended February came in at 210.3 billion yen ($2 billion), above a consensus estimate of 204.9 billion yen from eight analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The retailer said it expects operating profit to rise 14.1 percent to 240 billion yen this financial year.

While its restructuring efforts are yielding fruit, Aeon still faces pressure on multiple fronts - unable to raise prices amid sluggish consumer spending and facing criticism that it has been slow to adapt to the rise of e-commerce.

It has also lost customers to discount stores and specialist retailers in products such as clothing and electronics. ($1 = 107.0400 yen) (Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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