Sales: $1.4 billion
Key Personnel: Reinold Geiger, executive director, chairman and chief executive officer; André Hoffmann, executive director and vice chairman; Thomas Levilion, executive director and group deputy general manager; Karl Guénard, executive director and joint company secretary.
Major Products: Personal care, skin care and fragrance sold under L’Occitane en Provence, L’Occitane au Brésil, Melvita, Le Couvent des Minimes and Erborian.
New Products: Aqua Réotier fragrance, Shea Solution skin care, and LimeLife cosmetics (acquisition).
Comments: Sales slipped less than 1% last year, as the number of retail locations jumped 8.2% to 3,285. The company maintained its selective global retail expansion and increased the number of its own retail stores by 2.7% to 1,555.
The group’s emerging brands, Melvita, L’Occitane au Brésil and Erborian, each recorded double-digit growth. Gains came primarily in in Japan, France and Brazil, where, according to the company, there is strong demand for superior quality products at reasonable price points. Japan represented L’Occitane’s largest market at 16.6% of sales. Other top 10 countries and their share of sales are: US, 13.0%; China, 12.1%; Hong Kong, 9.4%; France, 7.7%; Luxembourg, 5.1%; Brazil, 4.6%; UK, 4.5%; Russia, 3.8% and Taiwan, 3.0%.
L’Occitane entered the color cosmetics space during the year with the acquisition of LimeLife; the company was rewarded for its investment when LimeLife’s sales tripled during the year. Now, LimeLife is available in Canada and the UK, in addition to the US and L’Occitane is exploring other acquisitions.
R&D expenses rose 12.3% due to new projects for L’Occitane en Provence brand.
In April, L’Occitane hit the road in the US with its new L’Occi Truck, a new retail store on wheels that marks the first-ever traveling shop experience for the brand. Kicking off in Washington, DC at the Cherry Blossom Festival in April, the truck is scheduled to make stops in key cities and regions as well as buzz-worthy events and festivals that align with the brand’s DNA. The road trip ends in Los Angeles in October.