Top Companies Report

8. Coty

July 1, 2015

New York, NY

Sales: $4.5 billion, for the year ended June 30, 2014.

Key Personnel: Bart Becht, chairman and interim chief executive officer; Patrice de Talhouët, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Mario Reis, executive vice president, supply chain; Jean Mortier, president, global markets; Ralph Macchio, senior vice president, global R&D and chief scientific officer.

Major Products: Fragrances, skin care, color cosmetics. Brands include Adidas, Calvin Klein, Chloe, Davidoff, Marc Jacobs, OPI, Philosophy, Playboy, Rimmel and Sally Hansen.

New Products: Fragrances—Katy Perry Killer Queen, Ultrasense White by Jil Sander, Marc Jacobs Mod Noir, Philosophy Live Joyously, Reveal Calvin Klein, Daisy Marc Jacobs Sorbet, Roberto Cavali Oud al Qasr, Jeremy Scott for Adidas, Bottega Veneta pour home Extrême, Daisy Dream, Vespa for Her and for Him; Color Cosmetics—Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and Insta-Dri nail colors, OPI Aloha Hawaii Collection, Bourjois color cosmetics (acquisition); Skin Care—Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar. To be launched: Marc Jacobs Decadence fragrance (October).

Comments: As this issue went to press, the industry was waiting for the official word that Coty was the big winner in the Procter & Gamble Sell-Off Sweepstakes. Although neither party would confirm it at press time, Coty reportedly agreed to pay $12 billion for Max Factor, Cover Girl and Wella.

There was other news coming from Coty’s corporate office as this issue went to press; Elio Leoni Sceti, who had been ready to take over as CEO, decided to not take on the role he was scheduled to start in July. Sceti was hired in April to replace Michele Scannavini who resigned in September for personal reasons.

Bart Becht—who is now interim CEO as well as chairman—has been steering Coty through an efficiency program in an effort to improve the bottom line. But these things take time. Through nine months March 31, 2015, sales fell 4% to $3.3 billion. But Becht seems undeterred, noting that Q3 was just the second quarter of Coty’s new strategy.

“We have made excellent progress in driving profit growth behind efficiency programs, as shown by the 24% growth in Q3 adjusted operating profits,” Becht enthused. “As our success in this area is very good, we will be looking to increase the $200 million target for our Global Efficiency Plan.”

In fiscal 2014, sales fell 2% to $4.5 billion. Unit volume fell 3%, but was partially offset by positive price and mix. At the end of the fiscal year, Coty eliminated the TJoy brand and the reorganized its mass business in China. New launches represented 15% of net revenue during the year. The contribution from new launches was partially offset by an approximate 16% decline in net revenues from existing products that are later in their life cycles.

Coty calls itself the No. 2 player in the global fragrance market and fragrances accounted for 55% of sales, followed by color cosmetics (30%) and skin care (15%).

In fiscal 2014, Coty manufactured 75% of its fragrances, with Europe, Middle East and Africa accounting for 54% of sales, followed by the Americas (30%) and Asia Pacific (16%). Top fragrance brands by percentage of net revenues are Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Davidoff, Playboy and Chloé.

Coty says it is the No. 2 player in the global nail care segment and “emerging leader” in color cosmetics, ranking No. 5 globally and No. 3 in the North American and European mass market. Its top color cosmetics brands are Rimmel, Sally Hansen and OPI.
On April 1, Coty closed the Bourjois acquisition, noting that the firm’s strength in key European color cosmetics markets is complementary to Coty’s existing color portfolio.

Skin and body care sales, where Coty has three main brands (Adidas, Lancaster and Philosophy), were essentially flat. 
By region, Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for 50% of sales last year, followed by the Americas (38%) and Asia Pacific (12%). Sales in the Americas fell 11% due to a decline in sales of Sally Hansen, OPI and fragrances, particularly older fragrances like Playboy, Chloé, Calvin Klein and Davidoff.

EMEA results were better, as sales increased 5%, driven by gains in the UK, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. During the year, Coty formed a joint venture in the UAE and established a South African subsidiary, which is part of the company plan to expand into emerging markets. Better UK sales reflected incremental net revenues from OPI resulting from the acquisition of a UK distributor and from Katy Perry Killer Queen as well as growth from David Beckham and Rimmel.

Sales in Asia Pacific fell less than 1%, but Coty noted that excluding the impact of reorganization of its China business and foreign currency exchange translations, net revenues in increased 7%.