Sales: $1.3 billion
Kyung-Bae Suh, president and chief executive officer
Skin care and makeup—Laneige, Iope, Mamonde, Hera. Fragrances—Lolita Lempika, Castel Bajac, Espoir. Personal care—Mise-en-Scene, Happy Bath, Median, Songyeum
Mis-en-scene premium product line, Refreshing Essentials skin care, Contour Lift Extreme, Future Response Age Defense Creme
Sales rose more than 15% last year, while net income soared nearly 33%. Sales of cosmetics accounted for 83% of sales. By distribution, door-to-door sales rose 6.2% to account for 31.7% of sales. Department store sales gained 19.3% to 17.2% of sales, specialty store sales rose 23% to 15.1% of sales and hypermarket sales jumped 24.9% to 9.2% of sales.
Sales of luxury cosmetics rose 10% on the strength of major brands such as Sulwhasoo, Hera and Amorepacific.
The remaining 17% of revenue is derived from the Amore Pacific’s personal care and green tea business. During the year, Mis-en-scene launched a premium product line and Ryoe became the No. 1 shampoo in the hair loss segment, as its sales jumped 137%. That helped the division’s sales rise 13% last year.
Amore Pacific’s founder Sung-Hwan Suh was a firm believer in the benefits of green tea. In fact, he created Amore Pacific’s tea garden at the foot of Halla Mountain on Jeju Island.
Sales outside Korea represent just 16% of sales, with China alone accounting for 42% of international sales. Last year, Chinese sales jumped 55% on the strength of the Laneige and Mamonde brands. Sales in Asia, excluding China, rose 8% to account for 20% of overseas sales. Sales rose in several countries including Taiwan (up 10%), Hong Kong (up 12%) and Malaysia (up 81%). France represented 34% of overseas sales, but posted a gain of just 1%. Finally, while the U.S. represents just 4% of overseas sales, the business posted a 25% gain in sales due to increases in Amore Shops, the company’s specialty store chain.
Last spring, the Sulwhasoo skin care brand made its U.S. debut at Bergdorf Goodman. Sulwhasoo is founded on the traditional philosophy of “Sang-Seng,” the belief that all things exist in relation to one another, and optimal vitality is achieved when these objects exist in harmony and balance. The highly coveted collection is synonymous with skin care, boasting more than half the herbal medicine cosmetics market share in Korea, according to the company. Headlining the collection is Sulwhasoo’s Concentrated Ginseng Cream ($220)—formulated with roots, berries and the water of rare six-year-old Korean ginseng.
This year, the company is targeting sales growth of 10%.