Domestically, in Lion’s Consumer Products Business, as unit prices were on a rising trend, in the oral care, OTC pharmaceutical, detergents for dishwashing, and other fields, performance of high-value-added products was favorable. Especially in the oral care field, sales of high-priced toothpaste and toothbrushes expanded, and Lion was able to secure growth in sales in this business higher than the expansion in the market as a whole. Additionally, mainly in the pharmaceutical business, Lion was successful in capturing demand generated by tourists visiting Japan from overseas. As a result of growth in high-value-added products, the sales mix changed, and profit margins rose. In the Direct-to-Consumer Business, beginning at the end of June 2015, Lion launched an improved version of Nice rim essence Lactoferrin, which is now classified as a Food with Function Claims. Under this new labeling system, it is possible to prepare more easily understandable labels and product information that are based on scientific and other evidence to emphasize the appealing points of functional products. Thereafter, from July onward, sales expanded at double-digit rates over the previous year. Going forward, Lion will pursue the further development of this business by addressing the issue of expanding its share in priority markets.
In the Industrial Products Business, which includes the Chemical Products Business and the Detergent for Institutional Use Business, Lion realigned and integrated its three Group companies in the Chemical Products Business into a single, newly established company. As a result of this integration, management functions are becoming stronger and efficiency is improving. Moreover, Lion refocused the business of the new company on the automotive, electrical and electronics, environmental and infrastructure, and lifestyle-related industries. At the same time, Lion is working to strengthen its operating and marketing systems by concentrating attention on priority customers in Japan and overseas. In the detergent for institutional use business, in addition to the previous approach of focusing on selling detergent products, Lion has positioned the sanitary and hygiene management field as a new growth business, and, by introducing highly advanced and differentiated products, it is endeavoring to expand into this business domain. In the Industrial Products Business, especially accompanying structural reforms in the Chemical Products Business, Lion has identified the stabilization of this business at an early date and is proceeding with the implementation of growth strategies as important issues. Accordingly, Lion is accelerating activities to consolidate a firm business base.
In Overseas Business, Lion has been able to show growth in its principal markets of Thailand, South Korea, and China at higher rates than that of GDP in these countries. In Asia, which is the focus of Lion’s overseas business activities, the health care market is expanding against a background of growth in demand among the middle-income classes and the demographic aging of the population. Within this operating environment, Lion has been able to satisfy the steady need for high-value-added products and personal care. In major countries, Lion is implementing measures suited to individual markets. This approach has resulted in growth in oral care in Thailand, growth in beauty care in South Korea, expansion in e-commerce in China, and a resulting improvement in profitability. In addition, Lion has engaged in aggressive structural reform initiatives, including launching a new subsidiary in Taiwan to expand marketing capabilities and, in Malaysia, has repositioned an affiliated company, formerly accounted for by the equity method, as a consolidated subsidiary. Looking ahead, as Lion works to achieve growth accompanied by profitability, it will take initiatives to address the issues of raising Lion’s market position and expanding its presence in overseas markets.