Albion Co, the Tokyo based maker of premium cosmetics, reported stellar results for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2014. The company reported a 10.4% increase in net sales to ¥48.7bn, a 72.6% increase in operating income to ¥6.5bn and a massive 180.7% increase in net profit to ¥3.7bn. Overall, sales in Japan increased 11.5% while overseas sales grew 3%. Sales through specialty shops in Japan increased 13.2%, while department store sales grew 20.9%. Increased distribution played a key part in growth.
Outside Japan, overseas sales grew 3%. Albion has subsidiaries in France, the US, the UK, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Sales for the main brands were all strong, with brand Albion showing a 15.2% growth, to which new products were an important contributor. Albion’s growth comes notwithstanding an unusual distribution policy. Albion products are sold only through ‘face-to-face’ retailing. Going against the trend, Albion does not sell any products via the internet, nor does it distribute its products to distributors or wholesalers for resale. It also limits the quantities that can be sold to a customer on a single occasion and over the course of a year.
David Kilburn, Tokyo