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P&G Starts To Crowd Kao

December 9, 2005

JAPAN: Sales for Kao Corp.’s high-end shampoo Asience topped $94 million in 2004, only a year after its release on the domestic market. The shampoo’s position, however, is already being eroded by the popularity of Herbal Essences shampoo, which the local unit of Procter & Gamble unveiled a year ago. P&G bought the Clairol hair-care division of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in 2001, after outbidding Kao for the acquisition. One of the division’s major brands was the Herbal Essence shampoo line. P&G registered a 20% sales increase in the year ended June 2004.