By  on October 27, 2009

TOKYO — Net profits at Kao Corp. plummeted 22.1 percent in the six months ended Sept. 30 to 25.24 billion yen, or $264.5 million.

Weak sales of the Japanese firm’s prestige cosmetics, coupled with a decrease in consumer demand in the chemicals industry, led to an 8.9 percent drop in the company’s net sales to 599.05 billion yen, or $6.28 billion.

Kao also blamed a temporary cancellation of its Econa cooking oil line and related products for the poor results.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates.

Kao’s operating profits dropped 16.7 percent to 45.58 billion yen, or $477.7 million, in the period.

Sales from the firm’s consumer products division, which includes personal care and cleaning products, dipped 4.1 percent. Decreased revenues from prestige beauty products contributed to a 8.1 percent decline in the results for Kao’s beauty care division.

For the fiscal year ending March 31, the company expects net profits will slide 36.4 percent to 41 billion yen, or $429.7 million. Kao also forecasts a 7.2 percent sales decline to 1.19 trillion yen, or $12.47 billion.

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