Every year, WWD Beauty Biz publishes “Beauty’s Top 100.” Overseen by European editor Jennifer Weil, the list ranks the 100 biggest global companies based on their 2008 sales. The timing this year seems particularly apropos. After all, now that the dust from the economic upheaval has settled, what better time to assess the damage done?
Perusing the Top 100, a few points become immediately clear: Most of the industry’s major players managed to eke out growth despite the tremendous turmoil. Number–one ranked L’Oréal reached sales of $25.81 billion, an increase of 2.8 percent, while Procter & Gamble came in a strong second at $19.8 billion, a 6.5 percent rise over 2007. Rounding out the top five, in order, are Unilever, the Estée Lauder Cos. and Avon Products, whose sales rose 9.7 percent versus 2007, thanks in large part to a restructuring plan started three years ago and a 7 percent increase in the number of associates worldwide selling the brand. (For a full report, turn to “Beauty’s Top 100,” starting on page 19.)
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