Business / Corporate

Shiseido offers staff promotions as profits plunge 44.4%

Kyodo

Cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. will promote some 2,000 beauty consultants now employed on fixed-term contracts to regular employee status through qualification tests by 2017.

It comes as Shiseido’s group operating profit for the year to March 31 plunged 44.4 percent from the previous year to ¥27.6 billion due to a sales slump following last April’s consumption tax hike and a rise in personnel costs.

But consolidated net profit increased 28.8 percent to ¥33.6 billion as Shiseido booked a special one-time profit from the sale of two overseas subsidiaries to L’Oreal of France.

As well as the fixed-term promotions, about 8,000 other beauty consultants working for Shiseido are already regular employees. In April next year, Shiseido also plans to recruit an additional 500 beauty consultants as regular employees, the first time in 11 years it will hire them under those terms.

Beauty consultants work at department stores and specialized cosmetics shops and recommend cosmetics products to customers, thereby playing an important role in marketing.

The measure is believed to be aimed at raising employee morale and retaining workers amid a tight labor market and improving employment conditions in Japan.

“It is important to vitalize beauty consultants,” Shiseido President Masahiko Uotani said at a news conference Monday to report the company’s earnings for the past business year.

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