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Kao Posts Pretax Profit Rise for 23rd Year

November 15, 2005

JAPAN: Kao Corp. posted a 4% rise in consolidated pretax profit for the year ended March 31, setting a record profit for the 23rd year in a row, company executives announced.
The $1.1 billion profit will allow Kao to increase its shareholders’ annual dividend, but the company must still improve the profit margins on its existing household products if it is to maintain growth, according to executives.
Kao’s overall sales rose 4% to $8.24 billion, including a 4% rise in revenue from household products, to $6.12 billion, on robust sales of its Healthya green tea. Sales of high-end products, such as those in Kao’s new hair care series Asience, also grew, executives said.
Sales of existing products, such as detergents, slumped due to falling prices. This decline was offset by the strong performance of Kao’s new products, which are higher priced and less susceptible to price drops.
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