In the fiscal 2020, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a major effect on people's lives and corporate activities worldwide. The Kao Group has been rallying its comprehensive strength in striving to provide products, services and information to contribute to the daily lives and safety of people around the world. Due to hightened awareness in hygiene, demand rose for hand soaps, hand sanitizers and home care products in general, resulting in growth in sales and profits compared with the previous fiscal year, mainly in Japan. On the other hand, sales and profits in the Cosmetics Business decreased substantially in Japan as inbound demand disappeared and the market contracted significantly, due in part to the impact of people voluntarily refraining from going outside. Outside Japan, the Kao Group was affected by mandated temporary store closures and restrictions on going outside all over the world except China, and also incurred extra expenses to respond to the pandemic, resulting in an overall decrease in consolidated financial results compared with the previous fiscal year.
In the Consumer Products Business, sales decreased 8.4% compared to the previous fiscal year to 1,151.3 billion yen. On a like-for-like basis, sales decreased 5.3%. In the Americas, sales decreased 5.9% to 83.6 billion yen. On a like-for-like basis, sales decreased 3.7%. In Europe, sales decreased 9.3% to 56.4 billion yen. On a like-for-like basis, sales decreased 8.8%. Operating income decreased 32.7 billion yen compared with the previous fiscal year to 147.2 billion yen.
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