Sales: $9.6 billion
Sales:$9.6 billion for personal care, household care and cosmetics. Corporate sales: $11.6 billion for the year ended March 31, 2008.
Motoki Ozaki, president and chief executive officer; Takuo Goto, senior executive vice president, global production and engineering, global environment and safety; Hiroshi Kanda, executive vice president, global consumer products, global marketing development; Norihiko Takagi, executive vice president, president, international business, consumer products; Shunichi Nakagawa, executive vice president, global legal and compliance, global corporate communications, global information systems; Tatsuo Takahashi, executive vice president, representative director, president and chief executive officer, Kao Customer Marketing Co., Ltd.; Toshiharu Numata, executive vice president, global R&D, product quality management; Toshihide Saito, president, global chemical business; Shinichi Mita, vice president, global accounting and finance; Masao Hirota, president, global beauty care business; Shinichiro Hiramine, chairman of board of directors and chief executive officer, Kao (China) Holding Co., Ltd.; Ken Hashimoto, vice president, global procurement; and Michitaka Sawada, vice president, global R&D (human health care).
Major Products:Household products, personal care products and color cosmetics.
New Products:Sofina beauté, Sofina Primavista base makeup, Asience hair care (relaunched globally), Megurism steam eye mask, Attack Biogel liquid laundry detergent, Men’s Biore line (relaunched in Japan).
Comments:Kao’s corporate sales rose 7% in 2007. While fabric and home care sales remained flat, the biggest gain for Kao came from its beauty care business, which recorded growth of 7.8% during the year. Sales in the beauty care business totaled $5.5 billion.
In Asia, Kao expanded its prestige cosmetics business in department stores and other retail channels in China. Moreover, in premium skin care products, sales of Bioré body cleansers expanded to other countries in the ASEAN region, and in premium hair care products, a new line was added to the Asience brand in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
In North America and Europe, Molton Brown cosmetics performed well, mainly in the UK market. In premium hair care products, John Frieda also launched new and improved products. While growth was steady in Europe, the impact of intensifying competition slowed growth in the U.S., according to the company.
Sales in Kao’s fabric and home care business totaled $2.4 billion. While the group focused on higher value-added products and cost reduction activities, rising raw material prices took their toll as operating income fell 3%.
Sales in Japan were flat, but the firm looked to stimulate the market by launching Attack Biogel liquid detergent, which delivers high cleaning efficiency with a small amount of water relative to load size. Fabric softener sales rose, pushed ahead by the launch of two longer-lasting scents in the Floral Humming line.
Sales of home care products increased with the launches of value-added products such as CuCute Power Gel dishwasher detergent and Resesh Antiseptic EX fabric freshener. Kao launched Attack Soft Plus laundry detergent with a fabric softening effect in Thailand and Attack Easy in Indonesia in December 2007. Sales increased in China, where the company unveiled Attack Softener-in, and commenced sales of Attack in Beijing and elsewhere.
Kao continues to tweak its operations following the acquisition of Kanebo. In June, the company started integration of Kao and Kanebo’s logistics bases and joint distribution of their products, such as consumer products and cosmetics. Since November, the two companies have sequentially implemented logistic integrations in the Kansai area and Hokkaido. In October, they plan to establish a logistics center in the Tohoku area.