Sales: $2.4 billion
Key Personnel: Roberto Oliveira de Lima, chief executive officer; Erasmo Toledo, vice president, international; Gerson Valença, vice president, innovation; João Paulo Ferreira, vice president, networks; Agenor Leão, vice president, digital technology; José Roberto Lettiere, executive vice president and finance; Josie Peressinoto Romero, vice president, operations and logistics; Robert Chatwin, vice president, new business; Andrea Figueiredo Teixeira Álvares, chief marketing officer; Roberta Salvador, legal officer; Fátima Rossetto, director of education and development.
Major Products: Ekos and Tododia body care, Aquarela and Una makeup, Mamãe e Bebê baby care, Natura Chronos facial care, Kaiak and Kriska fragrances.
New Products: Ekos Maracujá travel kit, Ekos creamy hand balm, Tododia personal cleansers and body care products.
Comments: Despite a tough local environment, Natura managed to flourish in 2016 thanks to a growing business outside its home country. Sales rose more than 6% last year for Brazil’s No. 1 cosmetics manufacturer and direct sales leader. International operations represented nearly 30% of sales and are growing faster than the overall business. Also providing a lift was Aesop, the Australian skin care brand in which Natura holds a majority stake. Last year, Aesop opened a store in São Paulo, its first in Latin America. At the close of 2015, Aesop had 135 stores in 18 countries throughout the world.
This year Natura is expanding its retail presence by opening Natura stores in Brazilian shopping malls to meet urban consumers’ needs. Of course, Natura is committed to its network of consultant that, at the close of 2015, included nearly 1.4 million in Brazil and more than 500,000 in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, France, Mexico and Peru. In Argentina, Natura was named one of the best companies to work and was selected as one of the most prestigious, too. Natura is already the direct sales leader in Chile; to further boost sales, the company launched its Natura Network. Natura’s sales in Peru rose more than 10%—very impressive in a direct sales market that rose less than 1% last year.
No matter where its operations, Natura may be best known for its environmental efforts. The company is one of the largest B Corps in the world and was the first publicly traded companies to get this certification. Last year, it received the Champions of the Earth Award from the United Nations Environment Program.
Things have gotten off on the wrong foot for Brazil and Natura in 2016. As we go to press, the world is watching to see how the Rio Olympics play out against a background of economic duress and Zika stress. For a company like Natura, which is based in Sao Paulo and derives more than 70% of sales from its home country, there are widespread effects. In Q1, sales fell 10% and the company reported a nearly $20 million loss.