Overseas Business

Overseas sales: 24.8%

Performance held firm in major overseas markets, including Thailand, South Korea, and China. Also, as a consequence of expansion in the oral care and beauty care fields (hereinafter, the personal care field), sales and operating income rose in this business segment. In addition, Lion implemented active business reforms, including establishing a new company to strengthen marketing capabilities in Taiwan, and, in Malaysia, including a company formerly accounted for under the equity method within the scope of full consolidation, as well as other initiatives.

Net Sales

¥93.9 billion *sales to outside parties

Operating Income

¥2.9 billion

Market Environment and Review of Performance in Fiscal 2015

In 2015, it has been said that, as a result of the slowdown in the Chinese economy, overall market growth weakened, but this did not have a major impact on the overseas toiletries markets where Lion already has an active presence. On the other hand, from the perspective of product distribution, the percentage of sales through e-commerce channels expanded in Northeast Asia, principally in China.

Performance in the personal care field in major overseas countries was favorable as a result of the further development of Lion’s global brands, including Systema, KireiKirei, and Shokubutsu Monogatari. Sales expanded 18.4% (10.9% in real terms after the exclusion of foreign currency translation effects). The percentage of sales accounted for by personal care products continued to expand, and sales rose 22%. As a result, the composition of sales of this business changed from 29% to 31%, making a substantial improvement in profitability, and operating income increased 159.9%. Thailand, South Korea, and China reported robust expansion and resulted in accelerated growth accompanied by profitability.

Strategy in Fiscal 2016

In 2016 also, Lion will endeavor to strengthen its presence in Asia and work to bolster its earning base. In Northeast Asia, Lion is shifting its approach toward making aggressive investments in marketing in South Korea and Taiwan. In addition, Lion is stepping up its initiatives, mainly in the e-commerce business in China where conditions are favorable. In Southeast Asia, Lion is moving forward with strengthening its Kodomo brand to secure its market presence in the personal care field, and continuing to report growth with profitability. Also, along with growth in demand in overseas countries, Lion is moving to upgrade its production infrastructure with an eye to making exports to affiliated companies and supplying products to countries in the region.

Regional Reports

Thailand

Sales Growth Rate:
(Year on year, All on a local currency basis)
4%
Review of 2015

Lion’s main businesses in Thailand are oral care, fabric care, beauty care, and living care, and sales in Thailand account for about half of Lion’s total overseas sales.

In the oral care field, Lion launched new products in its existing Kodomo brand lineup, and performance of its SALZ brand toothpaste, which Lion marketed aggressively through advertising and other promotional activities, was favorable. As a result, sales in this business expanded at double-digit rates. In addition, in the beauty care field, sales of Shokubutsu Monogatari body soap held strong, reflecting the success of promotional activities targeted at consumers. As a result of expansion in the personal care field, overall sales in Thailand in both local currency and yen terms rose above the previous year and operating income expanded year on year.

Strategy in Fiscal 2016

In the oral care field, Lion will introduce new products in the high-priced segment, and work to expand overall sales in the personal care field, including beauty care. In addition, in the fabric care field, Lion will introduce new products and expand existing lines in the markets where expansion is continuing and aim for sales growth accompanied by profitability. Along with this, Lion stepped up its activities to supply its products to neighboring countries.


Systema
Toothpaste

Kodomo
Toothpastes, Toothbrushes

Shokubutsu Monogatari
Body soap

South Korea

Sales Growth Rate:
(Year on year, All on a local currency basis)
4%
Review of Fiscal 2015

In South Korea, Lion’s main businesses are fabric care, oral care, beauty care, and living care.

In the beauty care field, sales of hand soap Ai-Kekute (sold under the brand name KireiKirei in Japan) grew substantially as a result of promotional activities, steady initiatives to acquaint consumers with the importance of hand washing, increases in demand due to MERS (the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), and other factors. In the fabric care field, sales were below the previous year, as the expansion in liquid detergents was not sufficient to compensate for the shrinkage in the market for powdered detergents. However, as a result of expansion in other business fields, overall sales increased year on year. Operating income showed major growth, owing to cost-cutting, including measures to increase the effectiveness of promotional expenditures, initiatives to open up more-profitable sales channels, decreases in raw material prices, and other factors.

Strategy in Fiscal 2016

In 2015, Lion made use of the income generated by cost-cutting and the results of measures to increase the effectiveness of promotional expenses to make investments in future growth. In 2016, Lion will work to consolidate its earnings structure created in 2015, while also working to build the base for future growth through investments in marketing to enhance the brand value of its products and strengthen its market position, and by opening up growing sales channels, entering new business, and undertaking other initiatives.


Ai-Kekute
Hand soap

Systema
Toothpaste

Beat
Liquid laundry detergent

China

Sales Growth Rate:
(Year on year, All on a local currency basis)
20%
Review of Fiscal 2015

In China, sales of newly launched Systema and KODOMO brand toothbrushes were favorable. In addition, Lion sustained the trust of Japanese products, including those imported into China from Japan, among consumer segments with purchasing power, and sales continued to be firm. In China, the e-commerce business remains on an increasing trend, and sales through these channels expanded 82% over the previous year, rising to about 35% of sales in that country. Overall sales in China grew 20% year on year and posted major expansion even when converted to yen.

Strategy in Fiscal 2016

In 2016, Lion will work toward further expansion in the scale of its business operations in China with the oral care field as a base. Other key initiatives, in addition to investments in marketing, will include upgrading marketing systems to strengthen Lion’s position in this field including expansion of its sales area coverage, implementing channel strategies, and marketing of products strategically targeted at various regions. Moreover, Lion will position e-commerce, which is continuing to grow, as a major channel and work to raise web-based sales by broadening the range of product categories offered, in addition to oral care, to include hand soaps, which were added last year, and other products with the aim of expanding the percentage of sales accounted for by e-commerce. Through these activities, Lion will aim to expand e-commerce sales and raise the percentage of e-commerce sales in its business operations in China. Lion will also endeavor to develop business opportunities in other fields, and work to grow its businesses in China and enhance profitability.


KODOMO
Toothbrushes

KireiKirei
Hand soap

Taiwan

Sales Growth Rate:
(Year on year, All on a local currency basis)
11%

As a consequence of active investments to consolidate the market position of NANOX super-concentrated liquid laundry detergent and strengthen the position of Systema toothbrushes in the oral care field, overall sales in Taiwan in 2015 in both local currency and yen terms were above the previous year. In September 2015, Lion established a wholly owned subsidiary with the objective of strengthening sales and marketing activities, and it commenced operations in January 2016. This new subsidiary will aim to become a highly profitable marketing and sales company, with activities focused on health care related products.


NANOX
Liquid laundry detergent

Hong Kong

Sales Growth Rate:
(Year on year, All on a local currency basis)
6%

Lion began sales of its Magica dishwashing detergents in August 2015. As a result of continued promotional activities, sales of NANOX super-concentrated liquid laundry detergent in the fabric care field and Systema Sonic Toothbrushes in the oral care field were favorable. Overall sales in Hong Kong in both local currency and yen terms exceeded the previous year. Going forward, Lion will aim to increase sales and operating income through the active introduction of high-value-added products.


NANOX
Liquid laundry detergent

Singapore

Sales Growth Rate:
(Year on year, All on a local currency basis)
4%

Lion’s initiatives to introduce new products and improved versions of existing ones met with success, and, as a result of favorable sales of Systema products in the oral care field, TOP in the fabric care field, and Shokubutsu Monogatari in the beauty care field, overall sales rose above the previous year in both local currency and yen terms. Lion will work to attain sales increases by consolidating its market position as the leading brand in each category and by continued expansion in sales of high-margin products.


TOP
Powdered detergents

Shokubutsu
Body soap

Philippines

Sales Growth Rate:
(Year on year, All on a local currency basis)
33%

In the Philippines, Lion commenced operations in the oral care field in July 2013 and in beauty care in September. During 2015, Lion concentrated on introducing and nurturing new products in the beauty care field and continued promotional activities for Systema products in the oral care field. As a result, overall sales rose above the previous year in both local currency and yen terms. In 2016, Lion will endeavor to secure sales by expanding delivery of shampoos and toothpastes, mainly in small packages (sache type).


HANA
Shampoo

Systema
Toothpaste

Malaysia

Sales Growth Rate:
(Year on year, All on a local currency basis)
4%*1

To accelerate decision making in Malaysia, Lion made Southern Lion Sdn. Bhd. a consolidated subsidiary at the end of the third quarter of 2015. Also in 2015, in the oral care field, Lion launched new products in the Systema toothbrush lineup, and sales were firm. In addition, in the fabric care field, sales of powdered and liquid detergents exceeded those of the previous year, and Lion maintained its No. 1*2 share in the laundry detergent market. In 2016, Lion will work to further strengthen its position in the laundry detergents market, and, in the health care business, will strive to expand its product lineup and implement other measures to strengthen its business base and increase profitability.


TOP
Powdered detergents

Systema
Toothbrushes

*1 Excluding Lion Eco Chemicals Sdn. Bhd.

*2 Results of Lion’s research

Indonesia*3

Sales Growth Rate:
(Year on year, All on a local currency basis)
8%

In 2015, in the oral care field, newly introduced products in the Systema toothbrush lineup and ZINC brand shampoos in the beauty care field reported favorable performances. As a result, overall sales rose above the previous year in both local currency and yen terms.

Lion will also introduce high-value-added products to respond to demand from the growing middle-income classes of consumers, and is aiming, thereby, to maintain growth and increase profitability.


Systema
Toothbrushes

ZINC
Shampoo

*3 Company accounted for under the equity method

Link to Overseas Affiliates list: http://www.lion.co.jp/en/company/group/global/