Spee is a best-selling laundry detergent in much of Europe.
packaging. Finally, the company developed a new generation of
glass cleaners using surfactants manufactured entirely from renewable raw materials.
On the subject of cosmetics and toiletries’ R&D, Henkel created treatment oils in a hair colorant that improve care properties,
and innovative hair care products for rebuilding the hair structure
and reducing split ends. Also new is a next generation body wash
that not only cleans, but also protects against body odor and imparts a freshness feel that lasts up to 18 hours. Lastly, new extreme hold hair gels are based on innovative polymer technology.
For the first quarter of 2012, sales rose 4.8% to $5.2 billion,
led by an 8.7% increase in emerging market sales. Laundry and
home care sales rose 4.5% to $1.4 billion due to gains in emerging markets such as Africa/Middle East and Latin America.
Meanwhile, emerging market strength propelled cosmetics and
toiletries’ sales 4% to $1.1 billion.
Sales: $10.0 billion
Key Personnel: Michitaka Sawada,
president and chief executive officer;
Hiroshi Kanda, president, consumer
products; Tatsuo Takahashi, presi-
dent and chief executive officer, Kao
Customer Marketing Co., Ltd; Toshiharu
Numata, president, consumer products
and chemical business, China; Toshihide
Saito, senior vice president, human
capital development, global; Ken Hashimoto, senior vice presi-
dent, procurement, global; Hisao Mitsui, senior vice president,
production and engineering, global; Masumi Natsusaka, presi-
dent, Kanebo Cosmetics Inc.; Katsuhiko Yoshida, president, fabric
and home care business unit, global president, consumer prod-
ucts, Asia (except China); Yoshinori Takema, senior vice president,
research and development, global.
Major Products: Beauty Care—Sofina, Kanebo, Molton Brown,
Bioré, Jergens, Asience, John Frieda, Goldwell; Fabric and Home
Care—Attack, Haiter, Magiclean; Human Health Care—Pyoura
and Clear Clean oral care, Bub bath additives.
New Products: Jergens Glow & Protect, Sofina Primavista
makeup, Attack Neo Antibacterial EX Power liquid laundry detergent, Flair Fragrance fabric softener.
Comments: Corporate sales rose 2.7% to $14.8 billion for Kao’s
fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. That’s ahead of the gains posted
by both the beauty care and fabric and home care divisions.
Kao reported beauty care sales rose just 0.8% to more than
$6.5 billion. Sales of prestige cosmetics grew in Japan and premium hair care sales performed well outside Japan, according to
Kao. Sales of prestige cosmetics increased 2.2% on the strength
of new product introductions. However, Kao noted that the overall downward trend in prestige cosmetics continues in Japan is
due to the lingering effects of the earthquake as well as a shift
in consumer preference for lower-priced products. With that
in mind, Kao introduced new products under its self-selection
brands such as Kate and Evita. In other cosmetics moves, the
company improved its Blanchir Superior whitening skin care line
as well as its Sofina Beauté brand. The company also revamped its
sales methods in an effort to get a lift within a declining market.
Sales of premium skin care products rose in Japan on the
strength of new Bioré facial cleansers and Bioré U body cleansers.
Outside Japan, Bioré sales were strong in Hong Kong, Taiwan and
Indonesia. In North America, Jergens sales rose in the hand and
Premium hair care product sales fell in Japan, due to a decline
in hair coloring product sales, which Kao blamed on market contraction and some tough competition. On the plus side, sales of
Merit shampoo and conditioner were strong in Japan. Hair care
sales in the rest of Asia were up, driven by the popularity of Liese
foam hair color in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand. In North
America and Europe, sales of foam hair color, hair styling products and other new John Frieda products, provided a lift.
Meanwhile, fabric and home care sales were up 2.4% to nearly $3.5 billion. Kao is building its environmentally-preferable line
through the Neo brand and rolled out Attack Neo Antibacterial
EX Power ultra-concentrated liquid laundry detergent. Other top
sellers included Wide Haiter EX Power fabric bleach for color fabrics and new Flair Fragrance fabric softener.