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A Mixed Bag for Global Prestige Beauty Sales

April 4, 2013

Prestige beauty sales were mixed in some of the biggest markets in 2012, according to a new study by NPD Group. While the US and UK posted strong gains, results in France, Italy and Spain were disappointing.

US prestige beauty sales rose 7% in 2012 to reach $10.2 billion. Good growth, but that’s below the 11% increase in 2011. However, challenging economic conditions contributed to sales declines across many European countries.

The US was driven primarily by skin care sales, which rose 10% to $3.4 billion. Makeup sales increased 7% to $3.8 billion and fragrance sales rose 5% to $2.9 billion, according to NPD.

In Europe, skin care sales fell 2% overall, but there were some pockets of growth in the face, body and sun segments. Driven by the strong sales in the UK, makeup was the only category to post gains throughout Europe, adding 2%. Face, eye, lip and nail colors represented 92% of the European prestige makeup business. However, the European fragrance market, which includes juices, ancillaries and gift sets, fell 1% last year.

Prestige beauty sales were mixed in select markets, according to a new report by The NPD Group.
Sales in France fell 1% to $3.5 billion as skin care sales were flat, and makeup and fragrance sales each declined 1%. UK sales jumped 5% as sales rose for skin care (5%), makeup (11%) and fragrance (3%). Sales in Italy declined 4%, led by a 6% decline in skin care sales and a 3% drop for fragrances. Makeup sales were flat. The troubled Spanish market fell 6% last year, due to a 9% decline in makeup, a 7% decline in skin care and a 6% decline in fragrance sales, noted NPD.

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