Coronavirus round-up: How the outbreak of COVID-19 has affected the APAC personal care industry

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Coronavirus round-up: How the outbreak of COVID-19 has affected the APAC personal care industry

Related tags coronavirus Apac Shiseido kose Estée lauder companies

Our round-up of how the APAC cosmetics industry has been impacted by fall out of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, featuring Shiseido, Estée Lauder, Kosé Corporation and PCHi2020

Shiseido Company

The Shiseido Company announced that it would support those that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak through its Relay of Love Project.

Masahiko Uotani, president and CEO said the company would be donating RMB10m (USD1.43m) to the Shanghai Charity Foundation to support the procurement of necessary materials for medical treatment and infection prevention.

Additionally, he said 1% of sales from Asian markets will be reserved for Relay of Love Project as in-house funds to support the those in need on the road to recovery.

“Throughout this unforeseeable situation, we can move ahead together toward the future through the Relay of Love project. We believe we can help to over the crisis of this world we share,”​ said Uotani.

During its latest earnings call, Uotani shared that the company was already feeling the weight of the impact of the epidemic.

From January 1 to 23, its China market was growing 47% YoY. From Jan 24 onwards, the company saw a 55% drop YoY.

Due to the uncertainty of the situation, Uotani said the company would be suspending and postponing marketing activities for the next three months.

In the meantime, it would work to strengthen its e-commerce channels.

He stressed that the company would not be cutting marketing activities when the situation recovers.

“We will prepare ourselves and strengthen our activities in the second half. We're not going to cut marketing activities; in fact, we will strengthen marketing activities, so we are ready for the second-half of the year.”

Shiseido has yet to revise its financial forecasts to reflect the impact of the outbreak, a move Uotani described as deliberate as the company did not want to share any ‘irresponsible’ numbers.

“We want to carefully examine and reflect on what is happening and have a better idea of what the future business plan should be like and what the numbers will look like. Hopefully we will be ready to share it with you in the half-year.”

Estée Lauder Companies

Estée Lauder Companies’ CEO said the firm stands ready to invest to aid recovery from the impact of the China novel coronavirus outbreak.

Fabrizio Freda, president, CEO & Director announced that the company has pledged RMB5m (USD716,004) to support coronavirus relief efforts in China.

“We are pledging RMB 5 million to support coronavirus relief effort for needs across China and we are matching donations of US-based employees to assist with the outbreak. We are working on various support initiatives to support people and their recovery.”

Fedra added that the company was ready to tackle the challenges and make a prompt recovery once the situation is resolved.

“We stand ready to invest, to facilitate the recovery as soon as the market supports it, leveraging the flexibility of our resource allocation and our multiple growth drivers.”

While the situation would affect the firm’s financial results in the near term, Freda said he expected things to return to the status quo by the next year.

“We do expect to recover our momentum at the end of the health crisis and in term of our assumption today… we assume the two quarters to be affected by the impact, and we expect a normalisation in fiscal year 2021.”

Kosé Corporation

Japanese cosmetics firm Kosé Corporation has decreased its sales and earnings outlook in the wake of the China coronavirus outbreak.

The spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which originated from China’s Hubei province, has affected some of the biggest global brands such as Apple, Starbucks and McDonald’s.

In light of this, Kosé has cut its net sales projection to JPY336bn and operating profit to JPY45bn. Net income projection was decreased to JPY30bn.

The original forecast, posted on April 29 last year, predicted net sales, operating product and net income of JPY352bn, JPY54bn and JPY37bn respectively.

Additionally, the company announced that it has begun implementing new measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The measures included suspending its make-up services and all other services that require direct contact between its staff and customers until further notice.

Additionally, it said all its staff will be required to wear masks and disinfect their hands before and after attending to customers.

Personal Care and Homecare Ingredients 2020

Following the outbreak, Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions (RSE) made the tough decision to postpone trade show PCHi 2020, which was originally scheduled for February 26 to 28, 2020 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center (SWEECC).

On Feb 11, the company announced that the show would indeed go on at the SWECC on June 2 to 4, 2020.

“Rescheduling PCHi 2020 was not an easy decision,” ​said Peter Liu, PCHi Project Manager at RSE. “We would like to thank all who have expressed their understanding and support towards our event postponement and look forward to the industry’s enduring support.”

Moving forward, Liu said it would continue to monitor the situation and implement the measures necessary to ensure the safety of exhibitors and visitors.

“We will continue to work closely with the relevant government authorities and implement all necessary measures as advised by the local government. Every effort will also be made to assist our exhibitors, partners, and visitors in view of this postponement.”


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