Takashimaya Group is currently pursuing the Machi-dukuri strategy. Under this comprehensive strategy, we are working to ensure that our department stores play an anchor role by drawing people into the surrounding area. We are also leveraging Toshin Development's expertise in commercial development so as to integrate specialty stores with these department stores and thus maximize the appeal of the buildings and the surrounding areas.
In the first half of this fiscal year, there was strong personal consumption amid an ongoing moderate recovery. Against this backdrop, we achieved higher revenue and profit both on a consolidated and single-company basis.
Looking at our domestic department stores, our core business segment, we focused on creating unique sales selections as part of a back-to-basics approach that emphasizes catering to customer needs and developing attractive and shoppable sales spaces. Examples of uniquely curated sales spaces that we have introduced into major department stores include Hello Baby Salon and Dear Kids Square, both of which offer childrearing lifestyle options, and Suit Closet, a sales space catering to working women.
Alongside these efforts, we are pursuing alliances with other companies so as to forge and strengthen ties with a greater range of customers.
In October, we launched a debit card, Takashimaya Platinum, in collaboration with Sony Bank. Takashimaya Platinum offers the convenience of a debit card together with a number of appealing platinum service member benefits. We also continued reaching out to customers from overseas. April saw the opening of an airport-style duty-free shop in Takashimaya Times Square, Shinjuku, as a joint venture with ANA Trading and Hotel Shilla. By integrating the shop with the department store, we will deliver an enhanced one-stop shopping experience.
Furthermore, in order that our customers may enjoy culturally enriched experiences at our department stores, we hosted a number of exhibitions, including "Photographer Kyoichi Sawada: In the photographer's gaze" and, from September, "Manabu Ikeda: 'The Pen' – Condensed Universe" and "Beautiful fairy on the ice: Mao Asada exhibition."
Ensuring that our department stores have unique sales selections, services, and cultural experiences is only a part of our broader Machi-dukuri strategy. We are not only exerting our capabilities in the department stores business; we are also channeling the entire Group's expertise in an all-out effort to meet a broad range of customer needs.
Looking ahead to our new and upcoming shopping facility, which encompasses the Nihombashi store currently undergoing redevelopment, we have decided on the name "Nihombashi Takashimaya Shopping Center" and we now have a clear impression of the facility's outward appearance.
With Toshin Development taking charge of tenant leasing and building management, we are adding new appeal to the existing department store and are hoping to open next year. The redeveloped shopping center will include some new and exciting features like a rooftop garden – one of the largest in Tokyo – and a bustling galleria passageway. Prepare to be impressed!
We are also developing commercial facilities overseas by leveraging the Group's expertise in department stores and commercial development. In July last year, we opened Takashimaya Ho Chi Minh City inside Saigon Centre, a commercial facility that Toshin Development worked on. Since its opening, the new store has continued to enjoy excellent patronage from locals. We will continue to build on our accomplishments in Singapore, Shanghai, and Ho Chi Minh City as we look ahead to opening of Siam Takashimaya in Bangkok, which is scheduled for autumn 2018.
The economic outlook remains uncertain amid concerns about the impact of Western countries' shift toward monetary tightening and the emergence of geopolitical risks in Asia. However, we will continue working as a Group in pursuing initiatives aimed at maximizing the appeal of our department store buildings and delivering new lifestyle options, and thereby fulfill customers' expectations.
We ask for your continued support and patronage.
Shigeru Kimoto, President