Sales: $2.3 billion
Key Personnel: Kazutoshi Kobayashi, president; Takao Kobayashi, senior managing director; Kiyoto Nagahama, executive director; Noboru Naito, executive director; Masanori Kobayashi, executive director, general manager, global business development; Michihito Yanai, director, chief executive officer, Kosé America, Inc. and Kosé Brasil Ltda.; Tomoyuki Nio, executive officer, general manager, global business division and Asia Operation Dept., president, Kosé Cosmetics Co. Ltd. (China) and Kosé Cosmetics Sales (China) Co., Ltd.; Takumi Hasegawa, executive officer, general manager of product designing department; Minoru Ushimura executive officer, general manager, human resources; Akinobu Hayashi, executive officer, director of R&D laboratories, general manager of customer value creation laboratories and advanced cosmetic research laboratories.
Major Products: Skin care, cosmetics and toiletries sold under several brand names in different sectors. High Prestige—Decorte, Jill Stuart, Sekkisei MYV, Infinity, Predia, Addiction, Paul Stuart, Awake, Tarte; Prestige—Sekkisei, One by Kosé, Shirosumi, Hadakiwami, Astablanc, Esprique, Carté Clinity, Crie, Phil Naturant, Formule, Maihada; Cosmetaries—Visée, Fasio, Elsia, Nature & Co, SportsBeauty, Nailholic, Stephen Knoll New York, Rimmel, Softymo, Je l’aime, Clear Turn, Suncut, Kokutousei, Grace One.
New Products: One by Kosé medicated moisturizing serum, Esprique makeup collection.
Comments: Kosé marked its 70th anniversary last year and there was plenty to celebrate as sales rose more than 9%, enabling Kosé to post its fourth consecutive year of record sales. Company executives credited the gain to strong sales of high-prestige brands in the cosmetics business, major brands in the cosmetaries business and higher sales of all makeup brands.
Specifically, high prestige sales rose on the strength of the Cosme Decorte brand. Company executives also noted that Tarte’s sales were much higher than planned, while Jill Stuart, Addiction and other makeup brands recorded higher sales. Prestige sales increased due to the popularity of new Esprique makeup products and the launch of One by Kosé, a serum that promises to improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture. These new products, combined with new marketing campaigns, helped cosmetic sales rise more than 10%.
Sales of cosmetaries rose 7.6%. The company credited higher sales of Je l’aime hair care products, Suncut sunscreen products, Fasio and Visée makeup and Nail Holic nail care products.
International sales accounted for nearly 21% of sales last year. Sales in Japan rose 5.7%, as the company added new customers for its makeup and skin care offerings. However, sales in the rest of Asia rose less than 1% as structural reforms are underway in China. Elsewhere, North American sales rose on the strength of Tarte. Last year, Kosé launched Sekkisei in the US. Global expansion with higher earnings are all part of the company’s Phase III Vision2020 plan.
Kosé’s Fundamental Research Laboratory is scheduled for completion in 2019. When finished, it will consolidate Kosé’s three research areas to two locations in Oji.
Currently, company researchers are studying induced pluripotent stem cells to learn if they have applications in anti-aging products.