Sales: $7.6 billion.
Key Personnel: Camillo Pane, chief executive officer; Patrice de Talhouët, chief financial officer; Sébastien Froidefond, chief human resources officer; Edgar Huber, president, luxury; Laurent Kleitman, president, consumer beauty; Greerson McMullen, chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary; Sylvie Moreau, president, professional beauty; Daniel Ramos, chief scientific officer; Mario Reis, chief global supply officer.
Major Products: Luxury—Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Philosophy, Marc Jacobs, Davidoff, Lacoste, Chloé, Joop!, Jil Sander, Escada, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Miu Miu; Consumer—CoverGirl, Rimmel, Adidas, Max Factor, Sally Hansen, Nice’n Easy, Koleston, Bourjois Paris, Playboy, Wellaton Monange, Bazzano, Risqué, Paixao; Professional—Wella, OPI, Sebastian, System Professional, Clairol Professional, Nioxin, Londa Professional, Sassoon Professional.
New Products: CoverGirl—TruBlend color cosmetics, Katy Kat eyelashes and eye color cosmetics, Exhibitionist lipcolor; Magic Mirror augmented reality beauty; Daisy Love Marc Jacobs fragrance; Burberry fragrances (license acquisition).
Comments: Multibillion-dollar acquisitions can paper over weak results. Coty’s sales soared 76% last year, thanks to the addition of several leading brands that were acquired from P&G in 2016 for $12 billion; but without that tremendous boost, sales rose just 1%. Worse, when you exclude the contributions of recent acquisitions such as ghd and Younique, organic sales fell 5%. But let’s focus on the positive, shall we? That would be professional beauty, which benefitted from gains at Wella and System Professional. In fact, professional beauty sales jumped from $250 million to nearly $1.4 billion. But those gains were hampered by declines at OPI.
Consumer beauty sales jumped 63% to nearly $3.7 billion due to the P&G acquisition, but the company reported weakness in several of the acquired brands, including CoverGirl, Clairol and Wella retail. Luxury sales increased 40% to more than $2.5 billion; declining sales of Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs were primarily offset by growth in Hugo Boss, Philosophy and Chloe, according to the company.
By region, North America sales increased 77%, but fell 2% on a constant basis, due to declines in the US, particularly, the consumer beauty division. European sales rose 73%, but were flat on a constant basis. And finally, sales in Australia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa (ALMEA), rose 80%, including a 6% gain on a constant basis, as the business reported positive organic growth in Brazil, the Middle East and Australia, as well as seven months of contributions from Hypermarcas.
In a key personnel move, in September, Daniel Ramos was appointed chief scientific officer and EVP-R&D. Prior to that, Ramos held similar positions at Revlon. He replaced Ralph Macchio who retired.
For the nine months ended March 31, 2018, Coty’s revenue rose more than 31% to nearly $7.1 billion. According to Camillo Pane, CEO, Coty’s Luxury division continued to deliver very strong results, and the Professional Beauty division once again demonstrated consistent solid growth. While the Consumer Beauty division continued its uneven performance, Coty said there were encouraging signs of stability.
“Though there is still much work to be done, including the continued integration of the P&G Beauty business, I am encouraged by how far we have come since embarking on our journey to transform Coty into a challenger in the global beauty industry,” Pane said in a statement. “As we have said, recovery will not be a straight line, but we continue to aim to deliver modest organic net revenue growth for the second half of the year.”
Perhaps some of that real growth will be through virtual channels. Through the first half of 2018, Coty has made several introductions within the tech space. It all started back in January, when Coty debuted Let’s Get Ready, a new skill set for the Amazon Echo Show. Let’s Get Ready brings on-demand, occasion-based look planning fine-tuned by personal attributes such as hair, eye and skin color.
“Digital innovation with a focus on voice and virtual assistants is a key part of our digital strategy as we aim to bring consumers frictionless beauty experiences,” explained Jason Forbes, chief digital and media officer at Coty. “We’re thrilled to be leading the market with the introduction of a visual beauty skill in the UK, inspiring consumers to both hear and see new beauty looks as well as step-by-step tutorials. Further, this skill allows us to deliver an authentic and personalized experience for beauty enthusiasts that happens near real time, delivering customized looks in the context of a person’s lifestyle and personal attributes.”
For example, the new Magic Mirror integrates physical products with digital content, which Coty says makes for first-of-a-kind augmented reality (AR) makeup try-on experience. When a shopper picks up a lipstick from the display, the selected color instantly appears on her lips in the mirror. Coty contends this new development removes barriers of traditional virtual makeup experiences, where shoppers can only engage with products in a virtual setting. Putting the physical product in shoppers’ hands has been found to increase attitudes and purchase intentions of the product, propelling a more seamless path to purchase.
According to Coty, 72% of consumers surveyed said they want an in-store beauty experience to be a mixture of both physical and digital elements in order to make it feel more “real” and “believable.” At the same time, virtual product try-on solves the issue of testers not always being available, hygiene concerns and shoppers’ lips becoming stained after only a few lipstick try-ons.
“As part of our desire to reinvent the retail experience through purposeful and personalized innovation, the Bourjois Magic Mirror represents the most extensive integration of physical products and digital content in the beauty industry,” said Elodie Levy, Coty’s global digital innovation senior director. “Most women intuitively prefer to play with a lipstick rather than touch a screen, as there is an inherent sensual aspect in cosmetics packaging that no technology can replace, and our new Magic Mirror provides this desired experience to shoppers.”
In April, Esra Erkal-Paler was appointed chief global corporate affairs officer and a member of the executive committee, a newly-created position. She will lead Coty’s global internal and external communications strategies and responsible growth. Prior to this appointment, Erkal-Paler was global head of external communications, AstraZeneca.
In May, Coty Professional Beauty opened new headquarters in Calabasas, CA. The facility features two separate centers: the general office, which is an open collaboration space where Coty teams including marketing, consumer research and finance sit alongside one another; and the studio annex, where Coty educators and ambassadors experiment and train salon professionals in the latest techniques and trends. Natural light pours into the space, making for an ideal environment to create through hair color, cuts and styling techniques or bespoke nail art and design. A dedicated photo stage gives space to the content team to capture work for online tutorials or for professionals’ personal portfolios.