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Japanese-style pubs report losses but sales at fast-food chains soar

This supplied photo shows Watami Co. Chairman Miki Watanabe speaking at an online briefing in Tokyo on May 14, 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese restaurant sector has reported divergent results in their latest earnings as a drop in the number of people dining out amid the coronavirus pandemic hit Japanese-style "izakaya" pub operators hard, while takeout demand boosted fast-food chains.

    Pub operator Watami Co. on Friday reported a loss of 11.59 billion yen ($105 million) in the business year ended March, as the government requested restaurants to shorten hours for serving alcohol and close early as part of anti-virus measures during the year.

    "If the current situation continues, we expect red ink of 5 billion to 6 billion yen for fiscal 2021," Watami Chairman Miki Watanabe told an online briefing, adding the company has requested a capital injection of 12 billion yen from the state-run Development Bank of Japan.

    Colowide Co., which has restaurant and pub units, including Japanese-style set-menu chain operator Ootoya Holdings Co., posted a record loss of 9.73 billion yen in fiscal 2020. It has decided to close 48 of its restaurants as part of its business review.

    Among fast-food chain operators cashing in on the food delivery and takeout boom, KFC Holdings Japan Ltd. saw its net profit in fiscal 2020 jump 82.9 percent to a record 2.81 billion yen.

    McDonald's Holdings Company (Japan) posted record sales of 155.78 billion yen in the January-March period, up 9.8 percent from a year earlier.

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