Top Companies Report

17. Kosé

August 3, 2015

Sales: $1.7 billion

Key Personnel:  Kazutoshi Kobayashi, president.

Major Products: Skin care, cosmetics and toiletries sold under several brand names including Decorte (formerly Cosme Decorte), AQ, Awake, Jill Stuart, Anna Sui, Infinity, Grandaine, Crie, Predia, Visée, Phil Naturnt, Esprique, Sekkisei, Elsia, Salon Style, Softymo, Formule, Precious, Fasio, Nature & Co, Stephen Knoll New York, Happy Bath Day, Paul & Joe, Tarte, Albion.

New Products: Spawake; Decorte Liposome Treatment Liquid; Albion Line Terminate Maximum; Sekkisei Facial Essence Soap; Esprique Smooth on Liquid Foundation UV; Tarte Fall 2015 launches, 15th Anniversary Tartelette collection; Paul & Joe Fall 2015 color collection; Kosé Cosmeport Oleo D’Or, Kosé Cosmeport Je l’aime Amino silicone-free line; Visée Lip & Cheek Cream.

Comments: Kozaburo Kobayashi founded Kosé in 1946, pouring his limitless passion into making cosmetics to provide people with dreams and hope. Even in the post-war period of struggle and shortages, Kobayashi was committed to making quality products that truly exceeded the expectations of each customer., according to the company. His ideals, according to Kosé, are alive in all facets of the business today. From research and development to manufacturing, from customer-oriented marketing system that perfectly matches brands and sales channels. This spirit is what gives Kosé strength and drive to do more.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, net sales increased 9.4% and operating income soared 19.6%. The company forecasts net sales to rise 3.9% in the current fiscal year.

According to Kosé, sales increased due to the acquisition of Tarte and strong sales of Albion. In fact, despite the effects of a consumption tax hike, Albion posted record sales. There were strong sales of current skin care products and base makeup products with different type of foundations were successful. Also, in Japan, sales of Sekkisei and Esprique increased primarily in drug stores. Sales of AQ Meliority and AQ MW, two high-end lines, increased and new lines of skinc are and base makeup products were launched to attract new customers. Self-selection makeup brands Visée and Elsia brands for sale exclusively through convenience stores additionally performed well this year.

Kosé also moved into the Indian cosmetics market for the first time with the April launch of a new skin care brand, Spawake, by the local Indian operating company Kosé Corporation IndiaPvt. Ltd. The Spawake portfolio is targeted to Indian women in the middle-income bracket and is available at urban supermarkets, mainly in Delhi, as well as online. 

Meanwhile, Cosme Decorte is preparing for a “facelift” as it enters its 45th year. Often considered Asia’s best-kept secret, this techno-innovative beauty powerhouse is setting its sights on global expansion, streamlining its name to Decorte and tapping into some of fashion and beauty’s top talents—Kate Moss and Mario Testino. A global ad campaign, the brand’s largest to date, will hit September 2015 books and kick off a multi-year contract with Moss. The illustrious model will also appear in a pre-release, behind-the-scenes video in August. The initial campaign will highlight the Moisture Liposome franchise, the best-selling prestige face serum in Japan, as well as the new Liposome Treatment Liquid.

President and CEO Kazutoshi Kobayashi stated, “During the Decorte brand’s long history, we have established a strong bond and trust with women of Asia based on our innovative and superior formulations. As Decorte starts a new chapter, we are pleased to work with the globally recognized and revered Kate Moss. It’s the perfect pairing.”