Japan's Taisho declines at home and overseas

Japan's Taisho declines at home and overseas
Taisho is set to acquire UPSA

4 February 2019 - Deborah Wilkes

Japan's Taisho Pharmaceutical has reported falling Self-Medication sales at home and overseas, as it prepares to acquire Bristol-Myers Squibb's French consumer healthcare business UPSA.

The Japanese company said sales by its Self-Medication division were JPY138 billion (USD1.25 billion) in the nine months ended 31 December 2018, representing a fall of 2.2% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Around 81.3% of Taisho's Self-Medication sales were generated in its home market of Japan, where sales fell by 2.7% to JPY112 billion.

Commenting on the Japanese OTC market, the company said there had been strong sales growth in some categories, such as anti-inflammatory analgesics, but sales in other categories, such as gastrointestinal remedies and skincare products, had been lacklustre.

The company's largest brand in Japan, the Lipovitan range of energy drinks, recorded sales down by 5.2% to JPY41.8 billion.

Furthermore, sales of the division's second-largest brand in Japan – the Pabron range of winter remedies – were down by 0.6% to JPY20.8 billion. Taisho recently extended Pabron with fast-dissolving rhinitis tablets.

By contrast, sales of Biofermin were up by more than a fifth to JPY7.8 billion. Taisho said the selling model had shifted to direct sales by the company since October 2017.

Overseas sales down by 0.8%

Meanwhile, overseas sales by the Japanese company's Self-Medication business dropped by 0.8% to JPY23.3 billion. The overseas OTC drug business, which is being developed mainly in Asia, reported sales down by 3.0% to JPY13.4 billion.

Taisho announced in December 2018 that it was acquiring UPSA for USD1.6 billion. Taisho, which is the largest OTC company in Japan, highlighted the "geographic complementarity" between UPSA's presence in Europe and its own presence in Japan and South-East Asia (click here to read the News story).

Sales by the Others segment within Taisho's Self-Medication division were up by 13.6% to JPY2.4 billion in the nine months ended 31 December 2018.

Operating profit at the Self-Medication division was up by 18.1% to JPY26.2 billion.

Taisho expects Self-Medication sales to decrease by 2.1% to JPY180 billion in the 12 months ending 31 March 2019.

Taisho's total sales, including the Prescription Pharmaceutical business, were down by 7.4% to JPY200 billion in the nine months ended 31 December 2018.

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