Pharmaceutical Business

Sales of high-value-added items, such as antipyretic analgesic BUFFERIN PREMIUM and Smile40 Premium eyedrops, grew at double-digit rates, and the average price per item increased. Lion was also active in capturing demand from foreign visitors to Japan (in-bound demand). As a result of these and other factors, overall sales in this business rose above the previous year, resulting in higher growth rates than in the previous year in both market segments where Lion has a presence.

A Review of 2015 and Products that Contributed to Performance

In 2015 in the Pharmaceutical Business, Lion continued to strengthen its lineup of high-value-added antipyretic analgesics and eyedrops and worked to substantially strengthen its business base.

Smile40 Premium

Smile40 Premium eyedrops, which are targeted at relieving eye fatigue due to aging and overuse of the eyes, are sold at ¥1,400 or higher per bottle in the middle-age to senior market segment, compared to an overall average market price of about ¥400*1. Despite this price gap, sales of Smile40 Premium expanded 31% year on year in 2015. Lion promoted the understanding of the special features of Smile40 Premium eyedrops through various communication activities, including newspaper advertising, point-of-purchase (POP) promotions, and through seminars aimed at retail stores that are in direct contact with our customers. In addition, Lion created package designs that show clearly the features of Smile40 Premium at a glance. These various promotional activities met with a favorable response from middle-age individuals to seniors, thus leading to favorable sales performance.

The middle-age to senior segment of the eyedrop market, where sales had been stagnant, expanded after Lion launched this product in 2013, and sales expanded 10% year on year in 2015*2, thus leading to expansion in the market.

*1 The eyedrop market segment is categorized by the following:
(1) Product concepts, such as “a product for use by middle-aged to seniors,” are clearly defined and,
(2) Product names include a number specifying the target consumer age category (e.g.“40”),or the products’ attractive points, including phrases that indicate the targeted consumers’ age, such as “aged,” “elderly,” and “beyond adolescence.”

*2 INTAGE Inc., SDI survey of the eyedrops market. Accumulated sales from January through December 2015, compared with the previous year.

Strategy in Fiscal 2016

Lion will work to substantially strengthen and consolidate its business base in the antipyretic analgesics and high-value-added eyedrops markets in 2016.

In the antipyretic analgesics field, Lion will continue working to develop the subcategory of highly functional BUFFERIN PREMIUM and newly launched BUFFERIN EX in March 2016. By adding BUFFERIN EX as a “new pain reliever that should always be on hand at home” for treating headaches (analgesic use), back pain, arthralgia, menstrual pain, and similar conditions, Lion will work to strengthen the position of the BUFFERIN brand lineup and aim for vitalizing the market through expansion of the range of applications where BUFFERIN is effective for providing relief.

In the eyedrops field, Lion will continue to develop the position of the Smile40 brand as a high-value-added medicine for middle-age persons to seniors and work to increase the profitability of its pharmaceutical business.