Sales: $1.86 billion
Key Personnel: Satoshi Suzuki, president; Naoki Kume, vice president; Akira Fujii, director; Yoshikazu Yokote, director; Takao Miura, director; Yoshifumi Abe, director.
Major Products: Skin care, cosmetics, personal care and fragrance. Brands include Pola, Orbis, Jurlique, H2O Plus, pdc, Future Labo, Decencia, Orlane and Three.
New Products: Pola—B.A. Serum Revup, Allu skin care, Orbis=U White skin whitener. H2O+—Aqua Defense Series, Oasis Hydrating Booster, Gel Mask, Body Wash and Body Gel Moisturizer; Waterbright Illuminating Booster, Infinity Wrinkle Reducing Booster and Water-Infused Brightening Gel Mask. To be launched: Revamped Whitissimo skin care; White Shot sheet masks and Inner Lock liquid.
Comments: Like other Asian companies that are counting on China for growth, the Pola Orbis management team has been a bit concerned about a slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy. Moreover, there’s been a reduction in consumption by tourists visiting Japan. As a result, sales gains slowed to 1.7% last year, but the flagship brand Pola, along with Three and Decenia, all had strong performances. Also within the beauty care division, the launch last year of B.A. Serum Revup, a beauty essence that achieves fresh-looking skin, and Allu skin care, which is said to treat hormonal imbalance, were well-received by consumers.
In Australia and the US, Pola is attempting to expand sales of Jurlique and H2O+, where the brands were founded, respectively. But sales for both brands were impacted by conditions in Asia. For example, while Jurlique grew in its Australian home market, it continued to struggle in travel retail and Hong Kong. Moreover, sales in China declined after Jurlique moved from a retail to distributor sales format. While H2O+ generated excitement with new packaging and new products, the decision to exit China hurt sales.
For the first quarter of 2017, Pola sales rose more than 13%, as demand for Wrinkle Shot propelled domestic sales. However, Orbis sales declined in the period on weaker-than-expected demand. Internationally, Jurlique struggled in Hong Kong. Still, operating profit soared 130% due to improved profitability at Pola. By brand, Pola’s Q1 sales jumped nearly 32% and H2O Plus’ sales increased 24.6%. But Orbis’ sales fell 6.0%, Jurlique’s sales fell nearly 23% and sales of “brands under development” dropped 9.7%.
For all of 2017, the company expects corporate sales to increase 6%.