Aeon Forecast Profit That Beats Analyst Estimates as Sales Surge

Aeon Co., Japan’s largest retailer, forecast annual profit that beat analyst estimates after reporting the fastest sales growth since 2007.

Net income will probably rise to 75 billion yen ($752 million) for the year ending February 2014, the company said in a statement today. That’s higher than the 71.9 billion yen average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales jumped 8.8 percent to 5.69 trillion yen last fiscal year, according to the statement.

The operator of shopping malls, supermarkets and specialty retailers is adding stores while promoting sales of its in-house brand as it targets a gain in sales to a record this fiscal year. The company agreed last month to buy Daiei Inc., formerly the nation’s biggest retailer, to add more outlets in metropolitan areas.

Net income rose 12 percent to 74.7 billion yen last fiscal year, compared with 66.8 billion yen a year earlier, according to the statement. Sales will probably increase 5.5 percent to a record 6 trillion yen this fiscal year, the company said.