Seven & i Holdings Co. said Thursday its group net profit in the March-August fiscal first half climbed 24.6 percent from a year earlier to a record-high 83.35 billion yen, boosted by brisk Seven-Eleven convenience store business.

The Japanese convenience store and supermarket chain operator said its group operating profit rose 11.8 percent to 164.58 billion yen, also a record high for the period. Consolidated operating revenues grew 14.6 percent to 2.81 trillion yen, the company said.

Seven & i attributed the performance to the group's convenience store business, as Seven-Eleven Japan Co. opened 950 new outlets in Japan, a record number for the period, lifting the segment's operating revenues by 37.9 percent to 1.27 trillion yen also due to brisk sales of private-brand products.

Its convenience store business in North America also performed well due to higher product and gasoline sales, the company said.

"We'd like to win the competition with high quality private-brand products that can maintain prices and differentiate themselves from others," President Noritoshi Murata said at a press conference in Tokyo.

Its operating profit in the supermarket store business grew 27.5 percent to 11.81 billion yen due to higher profitability in clothing and cost-cutting efforts, while its operating profit in the financial business grew 22.9 percent to 22.86 billion yen, helping to boost overall profits.

Meanwhile, it incurred an operating loss of 550 million yen in the department store operation due partly to sluggish performance at The Loft Co., a household goods retailer.

For the business year through February, Seven & i said it expects to post a group net profit of 170 billion yen, up 23.1 percent from the previous year, and operating profit of 340 billion yen, up 15.0 percent, on group operating revenues of 5.64 trillion yen, up 13.0 percent.