Top Companies Report

6. Shiseido

August 11, 2011

Japan

www.shiseido.co.jp


Sales: $7.5 billion


Key Personnel:

Hisayuki Suekawa, president and chief executive officer;Yoshinori Nishimura, corporate officer; Patrice Bellard, president, Beaute Prestige International.


Major Products:

Skin care, color cosmetics, sun care, fragrances and toiletries. Brand names include Future Solution LX, Bio-Performance, Benefiance, White Lucent, The Skincare, Eudermine and Pureness.


New Products:

Bare Escentuals (acquisition), Future Solutions.


Comments:

Sales fell 2.7% last year due to continued sluggishness in Japan, which accounted for more than 63% of sales.Sales in Japan declined 5.8%.


But the big news last year was the $1.8 billion acquisition of Bare Escentuals, which represents Shiseido’s latest effort to build a bigger consumer base in the US. Bare Escentuals gets about 88% of its sales from the US. Aided, in part, by Bare Escentuals, Shiseido’s sales in the Americas surged nearly 81%. Sales rose 6% in Europe and 5.9% in Asia/Oceania. During the year, the company entered nine new countries, including South Africa and Mongolia.


As it looks beyond its borders, Shiseido will have a new leader at the helm. In January, the board elected Hisayuki Suekawa as Shiseido’s 14th president and chief executive officer. He succeeded Shinzo Maeda, who was named chairman. Prior to this appointment, Suekawa was corporate officer and general manager of corporate planning. The new president’s goal is to boost international sales to 50% of corporate sales by 2017—that’s up from 42% in the most recently concluded fiscal year. The focus beyond its home market comes at a time when demand in Japan remains anemic and wages sluggish. In particular, Suekawa has his sights set on China, where he will try to increase sales at least 15% a year for the foreseeable future. Last year, Shiseido launched the DQ mass-market skin brand in China, where the economy is growing 10.3%. China accounts for about 10% of Shiseido’s sales.


In March, Patrice Bellard was selected as president of Beaute Prestige International, Shiseido’s designer fragrance division.


Following the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, Suekawa toured the area and said despite the devastation, cosmetics remained essential items in women’s day-to-day lives. To help keep spirits up, Shiseido volunteers flocked to emergency shelters with cosmetics and other beauty activities.


Looking ahead, the company expects sales to rise 1.4% to 680 billion yen. In Japan, sales are expected to be flat, but elsewhere, sales are expected to rise 10% in local currency terms. To keep sales growing, the company is focused on three major brands: Shiseido, Bare Escentuals and Cle de Peau Beaute, a recently revamped line that company executives say will appeal to wealthy consumers in North America.

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