Sales: $3.7 billion for cosmetics, fragrance and toiletries. Corporate sales: $11.1 billion.
Key Personnel: Alain Wertheimer, global chief executive officer and co-chairman; Gerard Wertheimer, co-chairman; Philippe Blondiaux, chief financial officer.
Major Products: Fragrances—Chanel No. 5, Allure, Allure Homme, Coco, Coco Mademoiselle, Chance, No.19, Cristalle, Pour Monsieur, Antaeus, Egoïste, Les Exclusifs, Bleu de Chanel. Skin care—Sublimage, Ultra Correction Lift and Line Repair, Hydramax + Active, White Essentiel, Le Blanc, Hydra-Beauty. Color cosmetics—Rouge Allure, Rouge Coco, Le Vernis, Inimitable, Inimitable Intense, Les 4 Ombres, Vitalumière, Joues Contrastes.
New Products: Makeup—Le Blanc Makeup, Forget Foundation, Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme, Ultra Le Teint, Rouge Allure No8; Fragrance—Bleau De Chanel Shaving Cream, Paris-Riviera Toilette Spray, Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum Intense Spray, No5 L’Eau Fresh Lotion, No5 L’Eau In-Shower Gel, Chance Eau De Parfum Twist and Spray, Chanel 1957; Skin Care—CC Cream Super Active Complete Correction SPF 50, Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream Illuminating Hydrating Fluid, La Mousse Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream-To-Foam, L’Huile Jasmin Body Massage Oil, Le Blanc Crème Riche Healthy Light Creator, Hydra Beauty Micro Liquid Essence Refining Energizing Hydration, Le Lift Smoothing and Firming Light Cream.
Comments: A year ago marked the first time in Chanel’s 110-year history that it made its annual results publicly available. In the company’s second-ever annual report, Chanel revealed that it achieved $11.12 billion in sales in 2018, up 10.5% from the previous year, while net profits climbed 16.4% to $2.17 billion. The reported growth was largely driven by strong growth in the Asia-pacific region, where the company saw a 19.9% rise in annual sales, compared to a 7.7% rise in Europe and 7.4% in the Americas.
These figures place Chanel, which is owned by the reclusive billionaire brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, a bit closer to Louis Vuitton, which has long held the title of the most valuable luxury brand company in the world. Whether or not Chanel has actually outpaced Louis Vuitton is unclear, as LVMH does not reveal revenue for its individual brands. Either way, it is clear that Chanel is not preparing for a sale as some rumors might lead you to believe.
“Would a company preparing itself for a sale invest more than $1 billion in twelve months in sustaining creativity and innovation? Or increase its head count by 14 percent? No. These numbers talk and tell you everything you need to know, which is that we have a strong balance sheet, extremely strong sales growth across all regions and product categories and continue to work extremely well as a private company,” commented Philippe Blondieaux, Chanel’s chief financial officer.
Chanel continues to earn profits even after the death of its long-time creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, in February. Since 1983, Lagerfield reigned over Chanel with indisputable authority, helping to turn a storied haute-couture fashion house into a global megabrand. His death, at the age of 85, left long-time creative deputy Virginie Viard in charge of the collections. The company is still mourning Lagerfield’s death, but does not expect any impact on its financials as a result of his passing.
Additionally, this year the company opened its first stores in Israel. The two stores in Tel Aviv will sell Chanel’s personal care products and accessories, which were hitherto marketed in Israel through sales stands in pharmacy chains, not independent stores.
In June, Chanel became the latest retail giant to make a public nod toward environmentally conscious products by investing in Evolved by Nature, a green chemistry company, as a part of an effort to make luxury items less damaging to the planet. Evolved by Nature seeks to replace harsh synthetic additives with a new kind of silk. This isn’t the first time Chanel has sought to make green strides. Last year, the company invested in a Finnish biodegradable plastic packaging alternative, Sulapac.