By  on April 24, 2009

TOKYO—Slumping demand for personal care products and cosmetics bit into Kao Corp.'s results for the year ended March 31.

Net profit dropped 3.2 percent to 64.5 billion yen, or $645 million while sales declined 3.2 percent to 1.28 trillion yen, or $12.8 billion, as business in western countries slowed and the yen appreciated. Those numbers contrast sharply with October's guidance,  predicting a 3.7 percent jump in net profit and sales growth of 0.9 percent.

Full-year operating profit dropped 16.7 percent to 96.8 billion yen, or $968 million.

Sales of the consumer products division that includes personal care and cleaning products, dropped 3.7 percent. Lower sales of prestige beauty products contributed to a 6.3 percent drop for the beauty division.

For the fiscal year ending next March, the company forecasts net profit will slide 13.1 percent to 56 billion yen, or $571.4 million. Sales are seen declining 5.2 percent  to 1.21 trillion yen, or $12.34 billion.

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