NEW YORK — Improved results from beauty products and prestige cosmetics helped Kao Corp. end the fiscal year with bottom- and top-line gains.
For the 12 months ended March 31, the Tokyo-based consumer products giant said net income grew 4.6 percent to 65.36 billion yen, or 114 yen a diluted share, from 62.46 billion yen, or 103.7 yen, a year ago. In dollars, a weaker yen allowed net earnings to increase a more robust 12.9 percent to $578.5 million, or $1 a share, from $512.5 million, or 85 cents, last year. Figures have been converted to dollars at average exchange for the corresponding periods.
Net sales for the year advanced 4.3 percent to 902.63 billion yen from 865.25 billion yen a year ago, while in dollars, sales improved 12.6 percent to $7.99 billion from $7.1 billion in fiscal 2003.
In the beauty and personal care businesses, the launches of Bioré Mild-Aid UV lotion, Bioré Perfect Oil and Asience shampoo contributed to a 3.7 percent gain in segment sales and a 1.8 percent increase in operating profits. Meanwhile, the Grace Sofina and Wrinkle Searty products helped push the prestige cosmetics business to a 2.4 percent increase in sales and a 2.1 gain in operating income.
— Dan Burrows