Yakult sees fall in Q1 profits as overseas sales to Asia sink

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Yakult sees fall in Q1 profits as overseas sales to Asia sink

Related tags Asia

Leading probiotic player Yakult has reported a 28% drop in first-quarter profits for the 2016/2017 financial year as sales outside of Japan tumble.

The Japan-based firm said total net sales for the first quarter fell by 2.4% compared to the same period in the previous year – hitting JPY90.6bn. 

Profit slumped by 28%, hitting JPY6.7bn for Q1 2017 compared to JPY9.3 in Q1 2016, said the company.

According to figures released by Yakult, sales from its food and beverage group brought in a total of JPY50.7bn in Japan (down 0.3% on the previous year) and JPY36bn overseas (6.8% down).

The company said declining sales were seen in the Americas and in its combined Asia and Oceania unit, which excludes Japan.

Indeed, the company confirmed that Q1 saw fewer sales of its flagship fermented milk product per day in Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea, as well in Brazil and Mexico – confirming that consolidated sales in the Asia and Oceania region (excluding Japan) came to JPY19.8 million.

Yakult is actively attempting to grow its sales and presence in the wider Asia region. Earlier this year the company expanded its presence in China with two new sales branches in Kunming and Nanning​, and set up a new subsidiary in Myanmar.

“Presently, we are moving ahead with preparations for the start of business at Yakult Middle East FZE and Yakult Myanmar Co., Ltd,” ​the company previously told sister publication DairyReporter.com​.

“No matter where in the world, we aim to contribute to the health and happiness of as many people as possible through our products based on Shirota-ism (preventive medicine, a healthy intestinal tract leads to a long life, a price anyone can afford); the philosophy of Yakult founder Dr. Minoru Shirota,” ​the spokesperson also said.

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