Fast Retailing Co., the operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, said Thursday its consolidated net profit for the nine-month period through May rose 23.5 percent from a year earlier to 148.3 billion yen ($1.3 billion), driven by strong sales at home and abroad.

The Japanese retailer said its group operating profit surged 32.3 percent to 238.90 billion yen, on sales of 1.70 trillion yen, up 15.3 percent.

Fast Retailing retained its earnings forecast for the business year through August, projecting a record group operating profit of 225 billion yen and net profit of 130 billion yen, on sales of 2.11 trillion yen.

Combined overseas operating profits for the nine months were almost on par with those in Japan "as our brand has spread to such countries as China and South Korea, and Southeast Asia," Chief Financial Officer Takeshi Okazaki said at a press conference.

Its Uniqlo business sales abroad surpassed those in Japan, with a 27.5 percent jump to 716.0 billion yen for the nine-month period. It posted a 65.0 percent rise in operating profit to 112.4 billion yen.

Uniqlo sales in Japan rose 7.8 percent to 704.4 billion yen, while operating profit increased 29.6 percent to 120.0 billion yen.

As for the worsening trade dispute between the United States and China, Okazaki said Fast Retailing will continue to watch developments and the possible effects on its supply chain and operations in China.

"We project the impact of the trade spat on our supply chain currently is limited, but we would like to strengthen our system to adapt to any situation," he said.