POLA progress: Overseas and online growth of flagship luxury brand drives up Pola Orbis Q3 profits

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

POLA recorded robust growth overseas and on local online channels. [Pola Orbis / POLA]
POLA recorded robust growth overseas and on local online channels. [Pola Orbis / POLA]

Related tags Japan Skin care pola orbis financial results

Pola Orbis has reported that its beauty business saw a 45.7% increase in operating profits in its latest quarter as POLA recorded robust growth overseas and on local online channels.

Aside from POLA, the Japanese cosmetics company also produces brands such as ORBIS, THREE and Jurlique.

POLA, which accounts for roughly 60% of its beauty business, saw operating profits increase by 64.2% while net sales grew by 5.8%.

The company has been nurturing the presence of its ‘ultra-prestige’ brand over the last couple of years. As a result, overseas sales increased by 38.3% despite the pandemic.

The company attributed the overseas growth largely to the steady expansion of the brand overseas. POLA now has 124 touchpoints overseas, up 14 since December 2020.

The brand’s success was mainly driven by success in China and travel retail, with the former recording sales growth of 56% despite the complications of COVID-19.

Domestically, online brand sales were up by 59.1% thanks to the sales of Wrinkle Shot, one of the brand’s signature products. Furthermore, online sales benefitted from the acceleration of its online consulting initiatives.

This helped to offset the difficulties facing brick-and-mortar stores, which suffered from the persistence of Japan’s COVID-19 state of emergency measures.

In the fourth quarter, POLA will be releasing B.A GRANDLUXE III, a new top-of-the-line serum, as well as limited-edition WRINKLE SHOT and B.A kits.

The firm believes these launches will be instrumental in improving existing customer activity.

Pola Orbis is also set to launch a new application in November primarily aimed at new customer acquisition.

It said the app will eventually serve as an Online Merge Offline (OMO) platform to give consumers “a seamless cross-channel brand experience”.

To improve the domestic performance of POLA, the company said it would leverage on e-commerce and work to improve repeat purchase rates and maximise lifetime value (LTV) for the brand.

Lockdown impact

Conversely, ORBIS recorded a drop in both net sales and operating profits by 2.3% and 17% respectively.

The pandemic severely hampered the brand’s performance overseas despite the company’s efforts to improve brand recognition by expanding contact points in Asia.

In particular, the brand’s growth in Taiwan, which accounts for a large proportion of overseas sales, was stalled by COVID-19 restrictions.

Recovery also proved to be sluggish domestically, which the firm attributed to the low demand for colour cosmetic products.

Moving forward, the company said it would emphasise on skincare and expand its consumer base in that category by focusing on the ORBIS U anti-ageing skin care series, the Wrinkle White UV Protector sunscreen, as well as the ORBIS DEFENCERA beauty supplement range.

Additionally, it said it would continue to refine its subscription service, which was recently introduced with the aim of improving its customer retention rate.

With an increasing number of consumers signing up for the subscription service, Pola Orbis said it will work to make this service more convenient for consumers.

Despite the suspension of store operations in Australia, Jurlique managed to improve its net sales with sales growth observed on Australian e-commerce, China and Hong Kong.

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