By  on October 9, 2008

Second-quarter prestige beauty sales rebounded in the U.S. from first-quarter declines, and first-half volume totaled $3.8 billion, a 1 percent decline compared with the same period last year, according to The NPD Group.

“The U.S. prestige beauty industry is showing signs of stabilizing from a slow start to the year,” NPD stated, adding, “The second quarter of 2008 was the strongest quarter in the past three years.”

Prestige skin care sales were up 2 percent in the first half, to $1.2 billion, while makeup sales were down 2 percent to $1.6 billion (following a second quarter gain of 3 percent) and the fragrance category sagged 3 percent to $1 billion, after a 2 percent increase in the second quarter.

Within the skin care category, facial skin care products priced at $70 or more grew the fastest — at 8 percent to $365.1 million. In fragrance, scents that have been on the market for more than a year drove second-quarter growth.

Internationally, prestige beauty sales were up 2 percent in France in the first half, with makeup sales up 6 percent, fragrance sales up 3 percent and skin care sales down 1 percent. Italy’s prestige beauty market was up 1 percent, with makeup up 6 percent, fragrance up 3 percent and skin care down 2 percent. Prestige beauty sales in China showed the biggest growth, with sales in six major cities rising 28 percent overall.

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