Home Radiant Skin Kao reports Q3 skin care sales dip as hand hygiene demand falls

Kao reports Q3 skin care sales dip as hand hygiene demand falls


The firm’s health and beauty division saw sales decrease 4.8% on a like-for-like basis to JPY261.2bn (U$2,29bn) in the third quarter of its financial year while operating profit dropped JPY6.1bn (U$53.6m) to JPY41.3bn (U$490m) in the nine months ending September 30. 

It attributed the slump to the falling demand for hygiene-related products.

Sales of hygiene products grew tremendously last year due to the heightened awareness of hygiene triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, the personal care major boosted the production​ of hand soaps and sanitisers as demand continued to exceed supply well into the middle of the year.

However, Kao reported seeing a “substantial shrinkage”​ of demand for hand hygiene products, which negatively affected skin care sales, which also suffered from low sales of sun care products as consumers refrained from going outdoors.

“Last year, there was a shortage of hand soaps and hand sanitisers in the market where our strong supply capability was demonstrated. However, this year, competitors have sufficient supply competing for market share. Our sales dropped because the situation turned out to be slightly different than what we anticipated,” ​said Tomoharu Matsuda, representative director, managing executive officer president, consumer products.

Despite the slump, Kao managed to increase its market share of hand soaps and sanitisers from the pre-pandemic days.

According to the firm, Bioré now holds the largest share in the market for hand soaps and hand sanitisers combined.

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