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Mujirushi brand retailer Ryohin Keikaku withdraws from Asia.

TOKYO, Dec. 3 Kyodo

Ryohin Keikaku Co., a retailer of clothing and sundries under the Mujirushi brand, announced Thursday it will pull out from Hong Kong and Singapore but expand in Europe. The Tokyo company, majority-owned by major supermarket chain operator Seiyu Ltd., said its Asian outlets -- four in Hong Kong and three in Singapore -- have been losing money since last year's financial crisis hit the region. With their outlook remaining ''extremely uncertain,'' the company said it has decided to liquidate the company that runs those Asian outlets and discontinue their operations. Meanwhile, Ryohin Keikaku intends to increase its outlets in Europe from 10 to 50 by 2003. In 1991, the company jointly set up Mujirushi Ryohin (Bermuda) Ltd. with a Hong Kong company. But given its equity is limited to 20 %, Ryohin Keikaku was not able take the leadership to promote the Mujirushi (meaning ''No Brand'') brand business in Asia, the firm said. Ryohin Keikaku is expecting a maximum 300 million yen in losses from the liquidation. However, the losses will not affect its earnings outlook for the year through February 1999. The company has been enjoying strong earnings in Japan with domestic sales and profits registering rises for the past nine years.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:9HONG
Date:Dec 7, 1998
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