Sales: $3.5 billion
Key Personnel: Suk Yong Cha, vice chairman, chief executive officer and president; Sung Huh, vice president and chief financial officer.
Major Products: Cosmetics—The History of Whoo, O Hui, SU:M37, Belif, Davi, Frostine, Kachet, Beyond, Dermalift, ChungYoonJin, Tuneage, Isa Knox, Sooryehan, Lacvert, Cathycat Vonin, Carezone, The Saga of Xiu, TheFaceShop, VDL, VOV, Philosophy; Hair Care—Elastine, Reen, Organist, Silk Therapy; Oral Care—Perioe, Bamboo Salt; Skin Care—OntheBody; Aromatics—Happybreeze, Partel, Healing&Nature; Laundry—Saffron, Hanip, Tech, Super Ti; Cleaning—Homestar, Insect Zero, Safe, Jayeonpong, PongPong.
New Products: Belif (US).
Comments: LG is on a roll. The company reported another year of double-digit gains for its cosmetics business as sales increased 25% and operating profit rose 43%. Luxury cosmetics sales grew 60% on the strength of major brands, as the business recovered from a Middle East Respiratory Syndrome scare that killed 36 people in South Korea last year before the outbreak was declared over in July. As one might suspect, the duty free channel that impacted by MERS the most, but it bounced back strongly, with sales doubling.
LG said Whoo skin care continued to deliver high growth in domestic DFS and local China market as it did last year, and delivered global sales exceeding 800 billion won. In the US, the Belif skin care line was successfully launched in Sephora, and is currently sold at 85 stores in major cities.
Within the personal care business, six categories recorded 15% sales and the company’s market share reached 35.4%. LG’s personal care sales in China got a boost from the launch of ReEn Yungo last November.
Growth was good, but more modest in home care in 2015, as sales increased 6.3% 1.6 trillion won.
The growth trend continued in 2016, as first quarter sales surged nearly 17% to a record 1.5 trillion won. More impressive was the 31% gain in operating profit, which climbed to a record 234 billion won.
Every business unit outperformed the market. Cosmetic sales increased nearly 26% to 797 billion won, with prestige sales rising 39% due to strong growth of major brands like Whoo.
Sales within the personal and home care segment increased 6.5% to more than 400 billion won.