SEOUL -- AmorePacific Group, South Korea's largest cosmetics maker, will construct a factory in Malaysia aimed for launch in 2020, as the growing popularity of Korean pop culture boosts sales of its products in Asia.
The cosmetics giant will invest 200 billion won ($180 million) in its third overseas production site, after plants in France and China, in its pursuit of 12 trillion won in sales that year.
The group picked Nusajaya in the southern state of Johor for its proximity to Singapore and easy access. AmorePacific, the group's flagship company, will spend a total of 110 billion won in three installments from October 2016 to January 2019. The brands to be produced there have yet to be decided on. The factory will create about 500 jobs.
The core unit saw 21% year-on-year sales growth to 1.44 trillion won during the April-June quarter, and a 16% rise in operating profit to 240.6 billion won, the highest ever for the quarter. Overseas sales, pushed up by demand in China and Southeast Asia, leaped 46% to 417.3 billion won. The Shanghai factory, which came online in 2014 with state-of-the-art equipment, helped boost business further.
In Southeast Asia, Japan's Shiseido already owns a factory in Vietnam. As South Korean TV dramas and music help increase the popularity of Korean cosmetics among youth, competition between Japanese and South Korean rivals looks set to intensify in Asia.