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August 3, 2010

L’Occitane Sees Sales Jump Nearly 14%
L’Occitane posted a 13.9% increase in sales to $865.5 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, helped along by strong results in Japan, Hong Kong, the U.K., Brazil, China and Russia.

“Despite a challenging business environment, we managed to deliver an encouraging set of results for the first time as a listed company,” stated Reinold Geiger, the chairman and chief executive officer of L’Occitane.

“This demonstrates the company’s strong brand equity and sound planning and execution capability driven by a clear principle for pursuing profitable growth,”Geiger added.

Ambi Pur Now Part of P&G
The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has completed its acquisition of the Ambi Pur brand from Sara Lee Corporation for $401 million. The transaction was subjected to regulatory review and work councils consultations in Europe, which have been successfully completed.

Ambi Pur is a leading global air care brand with a presence in 80 countries, and also has several toilet care products, with strong presence in the Western European and Asian markets.

“We are pleased we have closed the deal and are excited that we can now move on to integrate the Ambi Pur business,” said David Taylor, P&G group president, global home care.

“The acquisition of Ambi Pur strengthens P&G’s global leadership in home care and specifically air care by extending our reach to serve more consumers in more parts of the world more completely.”

Sales Rise 13.2% at Symrise
Symrise AG has significantly increased sales in the first quarter of 2010, according to the company. In an improving market environment, the company’s sales grew 13.2% to $495.8 million.

Symrise improved across all divisions and regions, profiting from a robust rise in demand as well as the increasing normalization of order patterns and stock-keeping on the part of many customers, according to the company.

Q1 Sales Rise 10.6% at Cognis
Cognis’ first quarter sales increased 10.6% to $891.7 million due to a strong recovery in actual demand ans supported by customer restocking. In June, BASF agreed to acquire Cognis for $3.8 billion (see p. 113 for more information).

Volumes across all business units were up 14.2%, reaching levels similar to the first quarter of 2008.

Europe in particular recorded a strong recovery in demand, and Cognis’ sales in this region increased 10.1%. Sales in Asia-Pacific were 29.8% higher than in the previous year, reflecting that this region remains on track for growth, as well as Central and South America, where sales grew 4%. In North America, sales increased2%.

Care Chemicals’ sales rose 10% to $498.2 million. This can be attributed to higher sales in the home and personal care markets, with demand increasing in nearly all regions and across the entire product portfolio, said the company.

Nutrition and Health’s sales increased 5.2% to $107.7 million.

Ulta Releases Positive Q1 Results
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance posted favorable financial results for the first quarter ended May 1, 2010. Net sales increased 19.1% to $320.2 million.

During the first quarter, Ulta opened stores in Port Orange, FL, and Yorkville, IL, and relocated another store in South Aurora, CO. In addition, one store was closed.

Chief executive officer Lyn Kirby stated, “We are very pleased to report an excellent start to fiscal 2010. Our first quarter performance, which included a 10.8% comparable store sales increase and a 19.1% total sales increase, accelerated from our strong fourth quarter growth and exceeded our expectations. We attribute our ongoing strength to the success of our strategies including increasing profitable market share by capitalizing on the advantages of our business model with dynamic marketing, compelling brands and providing our customers with the preferred beauty shopping experience.”

Kirby also discussed the appointment of Chuck Rubin as president and chief operating officer.

“We are delighted to have Chuck on board and are progressing toward his transition to chief executive officer over the next few months. We continue to believe we have developed a solid foundation to achieve sustained long term growth and believe fiscal 2010 will represent another strong year for Ulta, delivering increased value for our shareholders,” Kirby said.

Estée Lauder Completes Smashbox Acquisition
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is now owner of Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Inc., a privately-held, photo studio-inspired prestige cosmetics company based in Los Angeles, CA. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings in fiscal year 2011, before transaction and integration costs. Moelis & Company acted as financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal counsel to The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics was founded in 1996 by brothers Dean and Davis Factor, great-grandsons of the makeup legend Max Factor, who were inspired by photo studio celebrities to create a unique brand to meet the needs of professional makeup artists.