Darphin is a well-established brand in prestige skin care, generally the most profitable category in the business. The company formulates products with a high concentration of active natural ingredients and a carefully chosen blend of pure essential oils and was a European forerunner in applying the benefits of aromatherapy to skin care. It now sells its 80 different products in over 50 countries through high-end independent pharmacies in Europe and specialty stores worldwide.
Commenting on the acquisition, Fred H. Langhammer, chief executive officer of The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., said, "Darphin is an important addition to our portfolio because it enhances our leadership in the vibrant skin care category to address the needs of an aging demographic around the world."
Mr. Benet will remain as president of Darphin and will continue to direct its creative activities, manufacturing and to drive growth in existing distribution. He said, "There is great synergy here. Our companies are a perfect complement to one another. By joining forces with The Estee Lauder Companies, we will be able to grow more quickly and share strengths. Both companies have a history and philosophy of high-quality products, selective distribution and attention to customers' needs. I am excited to join this extremely talented group of brand builders."
Mr. Langhammer added, "Darphin is our second European-based acquisition and with this move we are one step closer to being a truly global company. We welcome Mr. Benet to our company and look forward to benefiting from his expertise and his entrepreneurial spirit."
Darphin was founded in 1958 by dermatologist Pierre Darphin. Mr. Benet and his family acquired the company in 1991, and have managed and expanded it. Prior to 1991, Mr. Benet was president of Decleor, another French prestige skin care company specializing in natural ingredients.
In an unrelated announcement, Estee Lauder said third quarter sales rose 10% to $1.24 billion. Net earnings rose 65% to $83.8 million. By category, net sales of skin care products increased 16% to $507.8 million. Makeup sales rose 4% to $491.4 million. Fragrance sales increased 16% to $181.6 million. Hair care product sales for the quarter rose 7% to $53.2 million.