Sales: $1.8 billion
Key Personnel: Kazutoshi Kobayashi, president.
Major Products: Skin care, cosmetics and toiletries sold under several brand names including Cosme Decorte AQ, Awake, Cosme Decorte, Beauté de Kose, Jill Stuart, Infinity, Grandaine, Crie, Predia, Visée, Phil Naturnt, Esprique, Sekkisei, Formule, Precious, Fasio, Nature & Co, Stephen Knoll, Happy Bath Day.
New Products: Cosme Decorte AQ MW makeup, Jill Stewart Relax, Astablanc and Hadakiwami skin care lines, Stylegenic hair styling products from Stephen Knoll, Suncut sun care, Je I’aime hair care and Fasio lasting foundation.
Comments: With all business segments posting gains, sales rose 2.5% for the year ended March 31, 2013, which is an improvement over the previous year’s results when sales fell 2.7%. Kosé noted that Japan’s economic activity appeared to pick up with a new government in place and reconstruction activities well underway following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Skin care product sales, which account for about 75% of corporate sales, rose 2% as the company nurtured high-prestige brands such as Cosme Decorteand Jill Stuart. In the prestige segment, Sekkisei and Esprique benefitted from increased advertising and promotion campaigns.
International cosmetic sales rose modestly, held back by weakness in China and challenging market conditions in other countries.
Sales of hair care, sunscreen and other personal care products increased 3.6%, driven by the launch of Suncut sunscreens and the Je I’aime hair care products.
Earlier this year, Kosé formed a joint venture with Elder Pharmaceuticals to manufacture and sell cosmetics in India under the name Kosé Elder (India) Private Limited. The move was made to supply this fast-growing market with products that are tailored specifically to consumers’ needs. The JV will be located in Mumbai and is expected to begin operations next month.
This month, Kosé will launch Stylegenic hair styling products under the Stephen Knoll label. The formula includes a novel cationic acrylic silicone resin that was created in a joint research project with Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd.
Kosé expects cosmetics sales to increase 3% and personal care sales to rise 1% this year.