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Hello Kitty maker says goodbye to profit growth for fiscal 2017

Japan's Sanrio cuts forecast as online retail erodes store traffic

Sales tied to Sanrio characters have slowed at stores inside and outside Japan.

TOKYO -- Sanrio, the company behind Hello Kitty, now sees group net profit falling during the fiscal year ending in March for a third straight annual decline amid a drop in sales at bricks-and-mortar stores as more consumers opt to shop online.

The Japanese company lowered its net profit forecast Tuesday to 4.8 billion yen ($42.6 million), representing a 26% decrease from fiscal 2016. Sanrio had projected a 20% rise to 7.8 billion yen. Sales now are expected to dip 4% to 60.3 billion yen, a downgrade from the previously forecast 5% rise.

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