TOKYO — Kao Corp. said Friday that its net profit for the nine months ended Sept. 30 grew more than 30 percent on higher sales and lower prices of raw materials.
The company’s net totaled 68.2 billion yen, or $566.06 million at average exchange rates for the period, with growth of 34.6 over the same period last year.
Kao said its nine-month operating profit grew 36.2 percent to 110.24 billion yen, or $914.98 million.
Net sales came in at 1.06 trillion yen, or $8.82 billion, which was 5.5 percent more than the previous year.
Sales of Kao’s beauty care division, which includes brands such as Kanebo, Bioré and Curél, grew 3.1 percent to 437.9 billion yen, or $3.63 billion. But excluding the effects of currency translation into Japanese yen, sales would have fallen 0.2 percent.
“In Asia, Bioré performed steadily and sales grew excluding the effect of currency translation,” Kao said in a release. “In the Americas, sales of Bioré were steady with the addition of items based on new proposals.”
Geographically speaking, Kao’s sales grew in each region it operates in. Growth was particularly strong in non-Japan Asia and the Americas. Sales in Asia increased by 18.6 percent to 210.2 billion yen, or $1.74 billion. In the Americas, sales were up 14.6 percent to 104.4 billion yen, or $866.52 million. Sales in both regions were boosted by favorable exchange rates for the company.
Kao maintained its sales guidance for the twelve months ending Dec. 31, but raised its profit forecasts. It now expects net profit to grow 14.3 percent to 91 billion yen, or $747.1 million at current exchange rates. This is up from a previous forecast of 87 billion yen, or $714.26 million.
The company is now predicting a 16.3 percent rise in operating income, to 155 billion yen, or $1.27 billion. Its previous forecast was for 150 billion yen, or $1.23 billion.
Kao’s full-year sales forecast remains unchanged at 1.47 trillion yen, or $12.07 billion, representing growth of 4.9 percent over last year.