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Business trends

COVID a mixed bag for Japan's medical and sanitary goods companies

Test kit makers see sales jump while pharmaceuticals struggle

TOKYO -- The yearlong COVID-19 pandemic presented a mixed picture for medical and sanitary goods makers in Japan, as earnings results from companies such as Unicharm, Takara Bio and big drugmakers revealed last week.

Unicharm, best known for its diapers, on Friday announced a 1% decline in sales for the January to March quarter, while its net profit rose 4.6% from the previous year. The company is a major manufacturer of masks and wipes -- goods in high demand for the fight against infection. Unicharm forecasts a net profit of 75 billion yen ($690 million) in 2021, up 43% on the year.

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