Top Companies Report

12. Kosé

August 11, 2011


Sales: $2.0 billion

Key Personnel:

Kazutoshi Kobayashi, president

Major Products:

Skin care, cosmetics and toiletries sold under several brand names including Cosme Decorte AQ, Awake, Cosme Decorte, Beauté de Kose, Jill Stuart, Infinity, Grandaine, Crie, Predia, Visée, Phil Naturnt, Esprique, Sekkisei, Formule, Precious, Fasio, Nature & Co, Stephen Knoll, Happy Bath Day.

New Products:

Happy Bath Day Precious Rose Body Care (relaunch), Nature & Co. Cotton Veil, Golden Bath Body Milk, Grandaine Luxage Astamax Essence, Cosme Decorte Prime Latte emulsion (September),De la Vie hair dye, Fasio makeup, Esprique Mellow Forming Rouge, Predia Body Care, Sea's Dew White and Moisturizer White, Sekkisui sunscreens and facial masks.


According to statistics for cosmetics shipments compiled by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Japanese cosmetics industry saw increases in unit volume and monetary sales in 2010 compared with 2009. However, as it is well known, the March 11, 2011 earthquake had a severe impact on the Japanese economy overall—and as a result, times were tough on many companies, including Kosé.

According to Kosé, during the current fiscal year, there were signs of a recovery in consumer spending as the downturn in the Japanese economy ended, but market conditions remained lackluster and there was a drop in sales immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake. As a result, the firm’s net sales decreased 0.9% for the year ended March 2011.

On a more positive note, in Asia, the Chinese economy has been expanding and economies in other Asian countries are also recovering, propelling Kosé’s overseas sales to represent 12.3% of total consolidated sales, led by China, the company said.

Net income was up 30.5% to more than $78 million due to a gain on sales of noncurrent assets associated with the outsourcing of logistics operations, an extraordinary loss associated with the Great East Japan Earthquake, and other items.

As for its own earthquake related issues, Kose’s Tohoku Distribution Center in Sukagawa in Fukushima prefecture was damaged, but operations resumed on March 29 and it was pretty much business as usual, except for deliveries to certain regions. In April, Kosé said rolling blackouts were disrupting operations at factories in Saitama and Gunma prefectures. However, the firm said it was working to minimize the impact of these blackouts as much as possible by using flexible times for work shifts and other tactics.

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