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Kao Sees FY Profits Jump 15.4%

Company sees growth despite costs related to the earthquake.

TOKYO — Kao Corporation said Tuesday that its net income for the year ended March 31 grew at a double-digit pace despite recording an extraordinary loss related to last month’s massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Kao, which owns beauty firm Kanebo, said net profit rose 15.4 percent to 46.74 billion yen, or $562.1 million at an exchange rate provided by the company. Operating income rose 11.2 percent to 104.59 billion yen, or $1.26 billion.

The company said it recorded an extraordinary loss of 4.1 billion yen, or $47.97 million, due to the disaster.

Sales for the period inched up 0.2 percent to 1.19 trillion yen, or $14.27 billion. The company said it registered growth international markets but declining sales in its home country of Japan ultimately flattened its sales performance. The company said strong sellers included its Biore skincare line as well as its foaming hair color product Liese Bubble Hair Color.

In a separate release, the company outlined the impact it has been feeling due to the natural disaster, stating that operations have resumed at a plant that suffered damage and it will be at near-regular operating capacity by the end of April. It also said that it is working to restore logistics operations interrupted by the earthquake, and will reopen its Sendai-Minami Logistics Center in mid-May.

“The Kao Group will work to recover from the damage of the earthquake as quickly as possible, and will carry out stable supply of products as a manufacturer of daily necessities,” the company said in its release.
 
Kao also released its guidance for the twelve months ending March 31, 2012. It expects net income to grow 13.4 percent to 53 billion yen, or $646.04 million at current exchange rates. It forecasts that operating income will increase 0.4 percent to 105 billion yen, or $1.28 billion, and sales will rise 3.5 percent to 1.23 trillion yen, or $14.97 billion.