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P&G Combining Hair-Care Research to Speed New Products

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Procter & Gamble Co., the world’s largest consumer-products company, is closing hair-care research centers in the U.K. and Japan as it combines operations to develop new products more quickly.

The operations in Kobe, Japan, will move to Singapore, and work from the facility in Egham, England, will be moved to the U.S., Paul Fox, a company spokesman, said in a telephone interview. The number of people involved in the moves, which will be completed next year, still is being determined, Fox said. The U.K. facility works on styling products, and the Japan site focuses on conditioners.

Chief Executive Officer Bob McDonald has centralized more research and assembled a companywide team to bring products to market more quickly as P&G works to regain market share. Cincinnati-based P&G is introducing new hair-care products next year, including Pantene Expert super-premium lines in January.

The maker of Olay skin-care products and Head & Shoulders shampoo said in May it is moving its headquarters for skin-care, cosmetics and personal care to Singapore to be closer to faster-growing markets for the categories.

P&G also operates a shampoo research center in Cincinnati and a coloring facility in Germany.

P&G rose 0.7 percent to $69.82 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 4.7 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lauren Coleman-Lochner in New York at llochner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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