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This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Japanese beauty firm will respond to high commodity prices and consumer concern over economic downturn by adjusting product prices, launching new products with "high added value" for budget-conscious shoppers, and conducting in-store merchandising initiatives that respond to changes in consumer spending habits, company states in first quarter earnings release issued July 28. Firm's beauty care sales for the quarter decreased 4.6% to $1.33 bil. (¥1=$.009) Intensifying competition in the U.S. market and sluggish consumer spending hampered beauty sales in North America and Europe, though John Frieda and Guhl hair care brands saw "solid" sales in Europe, Kao notes. Japanese beauty sales decreased 1.9% to $986.3 mil. due to lower sales of prestige cosmetics. Kao's net sales fell .4% to $2.98 bil. and net income increased 31.4% to $160.6 mil...

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