Top Companies Report


August 6, 2012


Sales: $4.2 billion

Key Personnel: Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer; Antonio Belloni, group managing director; Pierre Godé, vice chairman; Nicolas Bazire, development and acquisitions; Ed Brennan, travel retail; Chris de Lapuente, Sephora; Jean-Baptiste Voisin, strategy.

Major Products: Perfume, makeup and skin care. Brands include Christian Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy, Kenzo, Benefit, Fresh, Acqua di Parma, Parfums Loewe, Fendi and Pucci.

New Products: Dior—La Petite Robe Noire and Dahlia Noir fragrances and Dior Addict lipstick, Capture One Essential skin care; Guerlain—Rouge Automatique lipstick; Kenzo—Madly Kenzo Eau de Parfum; Benefit—They’re Real mascara, Hervana blush, Ultra Plush lipgloss and B.right skin care.

Comments: Sales of perfumes and cosmetics rose 4% last year, but corporate sales soared 16% to nearly $33 billion—proof that luxury made a big comeback in 2011.

Within the perfumes and cosmetics business, fragrance accounted for 49% of sales, followed by cosmetics 34% and skin care products 17%. By region, Europe (excluding France) accounted for 37% of sales, followed by Asia (excluding Japan), 22%; other markets, 16%; France, 10%; US, 9%; and Japan, 6%. All of the brands played a part in the strong momentum of the Asian and American markets. Europe, despite the uncertain environment at the end of the year, also contributed to their growth.

By brand, the Parfums Christian Dior brand continued to excel, led by strong demand for J’adore, which was once again the leading female perfume in France in 2011 as well as the record-setting launch of Dior Addict lipstick. Guerlain sales were boosted by demand for Shalimar as well as the success of Orchidée Impériale. Guerlain expanded its distribution by opening new boutiques in France, the Middle East and China. At Parfums Givenchy, the new women’s fragrance, Dahlia Noir, launched in the second half of the year, enjoyed a promising start. Benefit made a very successful debut in Brazil.

For the first quarter of 2012, sales of fragrances and cosmetics rose 12% to nearly $1.2 billion. In perfumes and cosmetics, organic revenue growth stood at 9% in the first quarter of 2012. Christian Dior continued to benefit from demand for its leading perfumes J’Adore, Miss Dior and Dior Homme.

Skin care and makeup sales also contributed to this strong performance, thanks to the growth of Dior Prestige and Dior Addict. Guerlain’s new perfume, La Petite Robe Noire, had an excellent launch and the skin care range Orchidée Impériale continued its strong growth across the world. Givenchy benefited from the performance of its new Very Irresistible product and new marketing campaign. Benefit and Make Up For Ever recorded remarkable growth, according to LVMH.

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