Discussing sales by region through the first nine months, Jean Madar, chairman & CEO of Inter Parfums Inc. noted, “Our largest market, North America, has been performing exceptionally well with year-to-date sales up 13.9%, and our second largest, Western Europe, exceeded 2018 nine-month sales by 4.8%. We are especially pleased by the 8% increase in third quarter sales in Asia, which along with the 7% gain in the second quarter more than offset the decline in the first quarter, bringing 2019 nine-month sales slightly ahead of last year. Two other markets where sales are running ahead are the Middle East and Eastern Europe, with sales up 25.3% and 4.2%, respectively, over the first nine months of last year. Only Central and South America, our smallest market, underperformed last year.”
Highlighting several initiatives underway for 2020, Madar commented, “For European operations, Montblanc and Coach will each introduce a new women’s scent in the first half, and Jimmy Choo in the second half. In addition to beginning the distribution of two Kate Spade legacy women’s scents in the spring, we are creating an entirely new women’s scent for the brand, which will debut in the fall.”
On the subject of US operations, Madar noted, “Nearly two years in the making, Bella Vita will debut for the Guess brand domestically in the spring and go globally in the fall. We are confident that Guess will rank in the top five within all brands in our portfolio in 2020. We are likewise confident that the spring launch of Sky by Anna Sui will be a catalyst for brand sales growth. Our debut of a multi-scent collection for Graff unveils in Harrod’s beginning in March 2020, with selective luxury distribution planned for the fall.”
Russell Greenberg, executive VP and CFO of Inter Parfums Inc., stated, “For European operations, gross profit margin was 62.8% in the current third quarter compared to last year’s 64.9%. The cost of sales of our new Montblanc Explorer product line, which has been a strong performer, is higher than typical, which offset much of the gross margin benefit of the stronger dollar this year. For US operations, gross margin was 51.0% as compared to 49.9% in last year’s third quarter. Generally speaking, our third quarter is our strongest quarter for sales due to holiday season shipments. However, more often than not, our consolidated gross margin contracts in the third quarter due to the large proportion of holiday gift sets in the sales mix.”
As a result of the strength of the US dollar throughout 2019, as compared to 2018, the company is maintaining its 2019 net sales guidance at approximately $712 million. The company will issue initial 2020 guidance after the market closes on November 20, 2019.