Yakult is a pioneer in probiotics, which launched the probiotic drinks Yakult in 1935 after Minoru Shirota’s discovery of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota, a strain of lactic acid bacteria proved to be able to live in intestines, in 1930. It operates in 38 countries across four continents. In addition to the retail outlets, the home delivery channel, served by a team of 80,000 Yakult Ladies globally, contributes about 45% of its probiotic drink sales. Yakult has built a meaningful presence in emerging markets including China, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil, the key drivers behind its growth. Overseas markets comprise 44% of group sales and about 65% of profits. It also operates a pharmaceutical business with an emphasis on oncology drugs, leveraging its know-how in probiotics.