Lotte Shopping shifts to profit in Q1 on pent-up demand

SEOUL-- Lotte Shopping Co., an affiliate of retail giant Lotte Group, said Monday it shifted to the black in the first quarter from a year earlier on equity gains and improving consumption amid eased virus curbs.

Lotte Shopping swung to a net profit of 69.13 billion won (US$54 million) in the three months ended in March from a net loss of 40.61 billion won a year ago, the company said in a statement.

"Pent-up demand from consumers helped boost the quarterly bottom line despite the spread of the omicron variant virus early this year," the statement said.

Equity gains worth 34 billion won from affiliates such as Lotte Card Co. and FRL Korea Co. also helped the quarterly results, it said.

FRL Korea is a 51:49 joint venture set up between Japan's Fast Retailing Co. and South Korea's Lotte Shopping to sell Fast Retailing's Uniqlo brand clothes in Asia's fourth-biggest economy.

Operating profit rose 11 percent to 68.71 billion won in the first quarter from 61.79 billion won a year earlier.

But sales fell 2.8 percent to 3.77 trillion won from 3.88 trillion won during the same period.

Sales declined as equity gains decreased from affiliate Lotte Himart Co., the country's leading electronics retailer, the company said.

Lotte Shopping is the operator of South Korea's biggest department store chain and the third-biggest discount store chain.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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