Home-grown cosmetics are finding favor with Chinese consumers.
In 2011, company sales rose 15.6% to $568 million. For the first half of 2012, sales jumped 24%, driven by double-digit growth from its major brands including Liushen, Maxam, Herborist and GF. With a history traced back to 1898, Jahwa is well known for its Liushen Florida Water that still accounts for the lion’s share of company revenue. More recently, Shanghai Jahwa has expanded into men’s care with GF, as well as entered the premium skin care segment with Shanghai Vive.
As the first listed company in China’s cosmetics industry, Shanghai Jahwa is widely regarded as one of few local manufacturers capable of competing with multinationals. During the past year, the company has boosted its competitiveness with the completion of its its long-planned restructuring program. After being taken over by Ping An Insurance, China’s second-largest life-insurer, Jahwa freed itself from the Shanghai government, which held 39% of company shares.
According to The 21st Century Business Herald, this takeover deal was valued at no less than $797 million, and during the next five years, Ping An Insurance would make the investment through its unit Ping An Trust & Investment Co. to inject $1.1 billion into Shanghai Jahwa, in an effort to boost the sales of the cosmetics maker to over $2.5 billion by 2015.
Following the acquisition, Shanghai Jahwa has tried to diversify its offerings by cooperating with other companies. It already owns a 19% stake in LVMH’s Sephora cosmetics chain in China and its Herborist brand are sold at Sephora stores outside China.
The diversification program has been expanded since the company formed a strategic alliance with Kao Group last November to boost sales of Kao products in the China market. The initial focus is on Kao’s three brands, laundry detergent Attack, a disposable diaper Merries and a sanitary napkin Laurier.
In a recent interview, Jahwa chairman Ge Wenyao said the company’s goal is to position itself as a comprehensive fashion group, not only focusing on skin care, but also branching out into watches and jewelry.
Ally Dai is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Ringier Trade Media Ltd, responsible for trade publications including Happi China. She has more than 10 years of experience in the cosmetic and food industries. Happi China is a leading media for the China household & personal care industry. Published by Ringier Trade Media in strategic editorial partnership with Happi, it helps local manufacturers update their knowledge on formulating, testing and packaging, as well as providing market insight.