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This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Japanese firm's consumer products sales increased 2.9% to $6.45 bil. (¥1=$.01), a 3.9% increase excluding currency, during the fiscal year ended March 31, Kao says. In North American and Europe, sales of John Frieda hair care products "increased substantially," fueled by new product launches, while the Bioré skin care brand grew as a result of repositioning efforts, firm claims. The brands helped drive consumer products sales in those regions up 4.6% to nearly $1 bil. Kao's reported net sales increased 3.8% to $8.75 bil., a 4.8% increase excluding the effect of currency. Net income was up 10.4% to $673.9 mil. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2006, firm forecasts sales will rise 2.5% to $8.97 bil., and net income is projected to grow 2.5% to $691.4 mil...

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