Sales: $3.1 billion.
Key Personnel: Itsuo Hama, chairman of the board of directors, chief executive officer; Masazumi Kikukawa, representative director, president and executive officer, chief operating officer; Kenjiro Kobayashi, director, senior executive officer; Takeo Sakakibara, director, senior executive officer; Yugo Kume, director, executive officer; Fumitomo Noritake, director, executive officer; Kazunari Uchida, external director; Takashi Shiraishi, external director; Takako Sugaya, external director.
Major Products: Oral care, skin care, beauty products, toiletries, fabric care, home care and household cleaners.
New Products: Look Plus bathtub cleaner, Smile Medical A eye drops, Nonio toothpaste and dental rinse, Hadakara body soap, Clinica Advantage Next Stage, Bufferin Light, Ban sweat-blocking foot gel, Soflan premium deodorizer, Charmy Magica Enzyme +.
Comments: Sales at Lion rose 2% last year as the company’s main business domain, the domestic consumer products industry, remained steady and the overseas market continued to expand. Core operating income was down 1.5% compared with the previous fiscal year and operating profit was up 12.2% year on year.
The consumer products business segment, which is comprised of the oral care products, beauty care products, fabric care products, living care products, pharmaceutical products and other businesses, saw net sales decrease by 4% and profits decrease by 5.8% compared with the prior year. Beauty care products saw strong sales and remained favorable, but sales of liquid and powder detergents were impacted by intensifying competition and market contraction.
The industrial products business segment saw net sales increase by 5.3% and segment profit increase by 1.7%. Overseas business, which includes operations in Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and China, was where the company really soared, reporting an increase of 2.4% year-on-year net sales and a 55.8% year-on -year increase in segment profit.
Last year, the Lion Group launched the LIon Value Evolution (LIVE) Plan, a medium-term management plan for the three years beginning fiscal 2018. The four main strategies of this plan are:
- Creating value through combinations of technologies and services, such as oral-to-body solutions in which oral care contributes to whole-body health care.
- Accelerating growth in overseas businesses through “glocalization,” via regional management and expanding business based on e-commerce channels and M&A.
- Reforming business structures to reinforce investment in the flexible, efficient manufacturing infrastructure that will drive business growth, create advanced and sustainable supply chains, reinforce information system foundations to promote more sophisticated group management and improve the efficiency of management resources and business activities.
- Creating dynamism to foster innovative change by promoting diversity and openness in human resources, organizations and corporate culture.
Lion’s first quarter 2019 corporate net sales decreased by 0.5% and core operating income went down 6.8% compared with the same period of the previous year. In the first quarter of fiscal 2019, in its domestic operations, Lion introduced new products such as toothpastes, fabric softeners, dishwashing detergents and antipyretic analgesics and worked to cultivate markets for these products through marketing initiatives designed to elicit an empathetic response in consumers. In its overseas operations, in addition to efforts related to the home care field which includes products such as laundry detergents, Lion sought to expand its business, focusing mainly on the personal care field, including oral care and beauty care products.