April 19, 2014 2:00 am JST

Beauty goods helped buoy Kose's pretax profit 39% in fiscal 2013

TOKYO -- Beauty care company Kose Corp. likely generated a group pretax profit of some 20 billion yen ($193.1 million) for the year ended March 31, up 39% from fiscal 2012 and eclipsing a 16.3 billion yen forecast.

     Efforts to strengthen domestic marketing of whitening, anti-aging and moisturizing products paid off. Last-minute buying by consumers eager to beat the April 1 consumption tax hike also ballooned, underpinning earnings. As a result, Kose is expected to consider raising its annual dividend from the projected 42 yen per share.

     Sales likely grew 11% to roughly 190 billion yen, surpassing guidance by 10 billion yen. Kose increased promotional spending and aggressively courted customers at stores with its products.

     January-March sales apparently jumped about 20% on the year, with pre-tax-hike demand swelling at drugstores, department stores and elsewhere. Sekkisei and other core brands enjoyed a sharp pickup in sales. Sales in China are believed to have surged around 30%, reflecting the rising profile of Kose's brands there.

     Kose is expected to reap sales and profit gains for the year ending March 2015 as well. Even with the higher consumption tax, domestic sales are not likely to drop much. The company will continue to spend heavily on promotion as it works to expand sales channels.