porate 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.
5. Reckitt Benckiser
Sales: $9.42 billion
Sales: $9.42 for household and personal care products.
Corporate sales: $10.54 billion.
Key Personnel: Bart Becht, chief executive officer; Colin
Day, chief financial officer; Javed Ahmed, executive vice
president, North America and Australia and regional director North American household; Freddy Caspers, executive
vice president, developing markets; Gareth Hill, senior vice
president, information services; Rakesh Kapoor, executive
vice president, category development; Alain Le Goff, executive vice president, supply; and Frank Ruether, senior vice
president, human resources.
Major Products: Surface care—Cillit Bang, Lysol, Dettol,
Harpic. Fabric care—Calgon, Vanish, Resolve, Spray ‘n
Wash, Woolite. Dishwashing—Finish, Electrasol. Home
care–Airwik, Mortein. Health and Personal care—Veet,
New Products: Cillit Bang Grease & Floor, Dettol Herbal
soap and shower gel, Veet Pump Pack, Mortein with Dettol,
Mortein Naturgard range, Airwick Freshmatic Mini.
R Veckitt’s Power Brands
EET. DETTOL. CALGON. VANISH. Lysol. These are some
of Reckitt Benckiser’s 18 so-called “power brands,”
which are at the core of the company’s strategy and
success. According to Reckitt, power brands accounted
for 61% of total net revenues in 2007, up from just 40%