Overseas markets lead growth at Japan's Taisho

21 May 2018 - Deborah Wilkes

Japan's Taisho Pharmaceutical reported Self-Medication sales up by 2.2% to JPY184 billion (USD1.68 billion) in the financial year ended 31 March 2018. Overseas sales were up by 12.4%, but sales in the company's home market only increased by 0.3%.

The company's overseas OTC drugs business, which is mainly being developed in Asia, recorded growth of 8.2% to JPY18.6 billion. Overseas sales of energy drinks were up by 15.9%.

Commenting on its strategy for the overseas Self-Medication operations, Taisho said it aimed to strengthen business expansion in growing markets, primarily in South-East Asia. The company added that it was considering entering new countries and non-OTC drug fields, including through acquisitions.

Around 82% of Taisho's Self-Medication sales were generated in its home market of Japan, where sales crept up by 0.3% to JPY150 billion.

Lacklustre market for energy drinks

The company's largest Self-Medication brand – Lipovitan energy drinks – recorded sales down by 6.4% to JPY54.7 billion. Taisho noted that Japanese sales of energy drinks had been lacklustre.

By contrast, the second-largest brand – Pabron cold remedies – achieved sales up by 9.9% to JPY28.9 billion. Taisho said new products had contributed to the rise.

The Self-Medication division generated 65.7% of Taisho’s total sales of JPY280 billion in the 12 months ended 31 March 2018. Taisho’s total sales were up by just 0.1% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Taisho’s operating profit was up by 15.7% to JPY37.0 billion.

Operating profit at the Self-Medication division was up by 0.2% to JPY30.2 billion.

Taisho expects Self-Medication sales to increase by 1.4% in the 12 months ending 31 March 2019.

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