Top Companies Report

15. Pola Orbis

August 6, 2012


Sales: $2.0 billion

Key Personnel: Satoshi Suzuki, president, Pola Orbis Holdings Inc. and chairman, Pola Inc.; Hiroki Suzuki, president, Pola Inc.; Tsuneo Machida, president, Orbis Inc.

Major Products: Beauty and skin care products. Brands include Pola, Orbis, H20 Plus, Jurlique (acquisition), Three, PDC and Decencia.

New Products: Pola—B.A. The Mask, White Shot SX; Orbis—Excellent Enrich; Jurlique—Vitabright KX, Rose Moisture Plus, Purely Sun-Defying Moisturizer.

Comments: The Pola Orbis Group dates back to 1929 and beauty expertise runs deep via a mix of venerable flagship brands, recent acquisitions and new brand development. Beauty accounts for more than 90% of corporate sales.

In addition to Pola and Orbis, the group incudes H2O Plus, which it acquired in 2011, and most recently, Jurlique, which it officially added to the fold in early 2012.

Pola Orbis also has several brands “in development” including Acro Inc., which promotes Three, a prestige brand of natural skin care and makeup sold at department stores; Future Labo Inc., available via TV shopping channels; Decencia, a mail order business focused on sensitive skin; and PDC Inc., which sell cosmetics in drugstores. Plus, Pola Orbis is the exclusive distributor of Orlane in Japanese department stores via Orlane Japon Inc.

All told, Pola’s sales account for 63% of net sales, Orbis is 31% and H20 Plus and other brands represent 6%.

For its most recent fiscal year, solid sales from Pola and H20 Plus, helped net sales rise for the second consecutive year, the company said.

Pola’s net sales were $1.25 billion, up 0.8%, and operating income rose an impressive 10.3%. During the year, Pola expanded its store network with 33 new locations, bringing the total to 533. But store expansion doesn’t mean Pola Ladies aren’t out in the cold; the firm said it also increased its roster of sales women too.

One of the company’s newest products, Pola’s B.A. The Mask, garnered beauty awards from leading magazines after its October 2011 launch. Applied as a foam that does not need to rinsed off, this innovative mask pulled in sales figures 50% above the firm’s initial target.

At Orbis, sales fell 2.9% to $618.1 million, but operating income rose 5.8%.

Sales of H20 Plus rose an impressive 32.2% to $122.6 million, but it recorded an operating loss of $24.6 million.

One of the firm’s newest brands, Three, saw sales rise 50% in 2011, Pola said.


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