Yuhan-Kimberly, Korea’s leading hygiene products manufacturer, said its exports increased 28.7 percent to 237.6 billion won ($211.8 million) last year, thanks to strong sales of its diapers and feminine sanitary pads.
Shipments to China, Russia and Turkey accounted for 63 percent, the company said. Products like diapers, sanitary pads and paper towels make up 82 percent.
“Such items could succeed in the world market due to the product quality recognized by choosy Korean consumers,” the company said in a statement.
“Yuhan-Kimberly is striving to drive product innovation by launching new products, normally every six months, to keep up with the rapidly changing tastes of customers.”
Yuhan-Kimberly products on display at a Chinese store. (Yuhan-Kimberly)
A joint venture of Korea’s Yuhan Corp. and Kimberly-Clark Corp., the firm has expanded overseas sales to 54 countries since it made inroads into the Chinese market in 2003.
In 2008, the manufacturer chalked up $100 million in exports of diaper brand Huggies.
According to global market researcher AC Nielsen, the Huggies controls more than 65 and 75 percent shares in premium diaper markets of Beijing and Shanghai, respectively.
In Korea, it holds more than 75 percent share in the offline market and between 60 and 65 percent if online markets are taken into account, according to Yuhan-Kimberly, despite intensifying competition with other local makers and those from Japan and the U.S.
The White sanitary pads are available in 24 countries ranging from Russia and Turkey to Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
Yuhan-Kimberly said shipments will increase once it starts operation at its new plant in Chungju, North Chungcheong Province, in March.
It also helped suppliers boost exports to nearly 30 billion won last year by localizing materials and broadening networks with them in efforts to shore up their competitiveness and mutual growth, the firm added.
By Shin Hyon-hee (firstname.lastname@example.org)