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Analysts Warm to Kao’s Sales Despite Profit Drop

March 4, 2008

JAPAN: Although Kao Corp.’s profit edged down in the April-December term due to higher material costs, analysts are giving a thumbs up to the firm’s solid domestic sales of personal care and consumer goods.

Kao reported a 2% year-on-year decline in operating profit to $900 million for the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2007. But in the October-December quarter, profit rose 2%, exceeding the firm's forecast.

The gain was driven by strong sales of household goods in Japan. While there was no specific hit product, a wide range of items from the Biore facial care series to upscale hair care lines bolstered sales.

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