Sales: $889 million
Key Personnel:Robert Polet, president and chief executive officer of the Gucci Group; Andrea Barbier, president and chief executive officer, YSL Beauté; Chantal Roos, strategic advisor to Gucci Group for fragrance and cosmetics industry.
Major Brands:Fragrances, cosmetics and skin care products. Brands include Yves Saint Laurent, Roger & Gallet, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Boucheron and Ermenegildo Zegna.
New Products: Fragrance—Yves Saint Laurent Elle, Paris Nuit de Fete, Paris Pont des Amours, Opium Poesie de Chine Eaux d’Orient, L’Homme Yves Saint Laurent Eau d’Été 2008, Elle Yves Saint Laurent summer fragrance 2008, Cinéma Scénario d’été, Baby Doll Magic; Ermenegildo Zegna Z Zegna Fresh; Stella McCartney Stella Sheer 2008. Cosmetics—LipTwins.
This is the last time beauty powerhouse YSL will appear in our Top 30 Report on its own. It has become part of the L’Oréal stable in a $1.8 billion deal with PPR, which was approved by the European Commission in June.
And what a nice way to go out: YSL Beauté’s sales rose more than 6%, driven by YSL products, and in particular cosmetics and fragrances. Recurring operating income doubled to €64.7 million. Geographically, YSL Beauty’s largest sales market was Europe (73.2) followed by North America (12.2%), Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan (6.7%); Japan (3.4%) and other (4.5%).
According to the company, highlights for the year included the October launch of Elle from Yves Saint Laurent. In addition, Opium—which has been on counters for 30 years—posted good results. Makeup posted its sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth thanks to a mix of perennial favorites and new products such as LipTwins.
Stella McCartney Care, the luxury skin care line with 100% organic ingredients, garnered much attention in 2007—some positive, some not so positive. The brand did win an industry award as “breakthrough product,” but it was also named in a lawsuit filed by Dr. Bronner Magic Soaps and the Organic Consumers Association. The lawsuit’s goal is to stop numerous personal care brands, including Care, from making misleading organic labeling claims.
While PPR and the Gucci Group are shedding most of the YSL Beauté operation, they haven’t given it up entirely. In the deal, PPR transfers the licenses for fragrances and cosmetics of the Stella McCartney, Oscar de la Renta and Ermenegildo Zegna brands to L’Oréal, which also gains “very long-term exclusive worldwide license” for the YSL and Boucheron brands in perfumes and cosmetics. The YSL, Boucheron and Stella McCartney brands would remain the property of the PPR Group. The deal did not include the Alexander McQueen fragrance brand.