L’Occitane International profit jumps

French skincare brand L’Occitane International’s interim net profit has jumped 33.9 per cent for its latest six months.

Earnings for the period to September 30 climbed to €25.99 million (US$27.5 million) from €19.41 million year-on-year, while net sales edged up by 1.3 per cent to €551.7 million.

Emerging economies Brazil, China and Russia were singled out as the top performing markets for the Provence-based company.

“We are seeing accelerating store traffic in China and a tremendous growth in our sales on the Tmall market platform,” says L’Occitane Asia-Pacific president Andre Hoffmann.

The mainland has become the company’s second-largest market after the US in terms of the number of outlets. Eight locations were launched in China in the first nine months of the year – the largest number across the brand’s nine major markets.

Total sales from the mainland gained 5.4 per cent to €50.8 million from a year ago, accounting for 9.2 per cent of L’Occitane’s net revenue.

More shops were opened in Japan and South Korea, but in Hong Kong sales plunged by as much as 11.2 per cent.

Same-store sales overall fell 2.5 per cent, which the company blames on global economic political uncertainties. However, more positive signs included a strong performance on Tmall, as well as in the Black Friday sale, says CFO Thomas Levilion.

L’Occitane eCommerce business grew by 6.8 per cent during the first half, making up 10 per cent of global retail sales.

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