TOKYO — Kao Corp. reported net profit for the nine months ended Sept. 30 grew by 28.1 percent on rising sales and decreased tax payments. Net income totaled 50.67 billion yen, or $492.51 million at average exchange rates.


The company’s operating profit fell 1.2 percent to 80.92 billion yen, or $786.54 million. Kao said the drop was due to “aggressively increased marketing and other expenses for new and improved products and the impact of higher prices for raw materials.” It also cited a delayed recovery from the impact of a consumption tax enacted in Japan in April.


Net sales for the period were up 6 percent to 1.01 trillion yen, or $9.79 billion.


Sales in the company’s beauty care business, which includes brands such as Molton Brown, Bioré, Jergens and Kanebo, grew 2.5 percent to 424.7 billion yen, or $4.13 billion.


Kao trumpeted sales growth in each of the geographical regions in which it operates. Sales of its consumer products were particularly strong in Europe and elsewhere in Asia. In Europe, there was a sales increase of 16.6 percent to 60.2 billion yen, or $585.14 million. Non-Japan Asia saw sales growth of 16.5 percent to 99.4 billion yen, or $966.17 million.


Kao left unchanged its guidance for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31. It expects net profit to grow 15.8 percent to 75 billion yen, or $694.97 million at current exchange rates.


The company forecasts operating profit will increase 4.3 percent to total 130 billion yen, or $1.2 billion.


Kao is predicting full-year sales growth of 5.7 percent, for a total of 1.39 trillion yen, or $12.88 billion.

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