I would like to begin this message by expressing my deep appreciation to you for consistently providing us with your outstanding support.
In the 13th term (January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018), the cosmetics market in Japan has shown signs of a slowdown in recent growth, reflecting the impact of the enactment of China’s E-Commerce Law, despite strong consumption by inbound tourists throughout the year. When inbound consumption is excluded, the market is believed to have shrunk in size. The overseas cosmetics market continued its modest expansionary trend, with firm growth in Asia, especially China.
Under these market conditions, the POLA ORBIS Group took steps to improve the profitability of its operations in Japan, move its overseas operations into the black and develop next-generation growth brands in accordance with its medium-term management plan for the four-year period from 2017 to 2020, which was launched in 2017. In September, we expanded our brand portfolio by launching three new brands: Amplitude, ITRIM and FIVEISM×THREE. We hope that these new brands will drive the Group’s next growth phase.
In 2019, POLA ORBIS celebrates its 90th anniversary. In Japan, we plan to further strengthen our customer base, which has expanded as a result of increased brand recognition. In the global market, we intend to accelerate shop openings, especially in China, and increase our brand presence. We are united in our determination to realize our 2020 long-term vision of becoming a highly profitable global enterprise and achieve further rapid growth.
We greatly appreciate our shareholders’ continuing support for the POLA ORBIS Group for years to come.