Beauty Beat: Max Mara in ‘Selective’ Scent Deal … Strong Sales Boost Henkel’s 1Q Net … P&G Promotes Rebecca Masson …

Selective Beauty signed a worldwide licensing agreement on Wednesday to produce and distribute prestige fragrances for the Italian fashion house Max Mara.

Max Mara in ‘Selective’ Scent Deal
PARIS — Selective Beauty signed a worldwide licensing agreement on Wednesday to produce and distribute prestige fragrances for the Italian fashion house Max Mara.

The license previously was managed through a joint venture between Procter & Gamble’s Cosmopolitan Cos­metics division and the Max Mara Group. The new agreement is to last 10 years. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Selective Beauty, based here, hopes to bolster Max Mara’s existing women’s fragrance business by launching a seasonal version of its signature scent at the end of this year. By year-end 2007, Selective Beauty will introduce a new Max Mara women’s fragrance.

“Considering Max Mara’s extremely strong position in fashion, with sales of over 1 billion euros [or $1.26 billion at current exchange], we clearly have strong ambitions in terms of sales,” said Christophe Cervasel, founder and chief executive officer of Selective Beauty.

Last year, Selective Beauty signed six fragrance licenses, including Trussardi, Diana di Silva and Balmain, plus four distribution contracts.

Thanks mainly to those deals, Selective Beauty generated 103 million euros, or $130 million, in 2005, representing growth of 44 percent versus the prior year. The firm plans to increase its sales 50 percent this year to 150 million euros, or $189 million.

By the end of April, Selective Beauty’ sales had registered 50 percent gains versus the same period last year. Organic growth rose 14 percent.

In a letter sent to industry observers this week, Procter & Gamble and Max Mara said they had ended their fine-fragrance venture by mutual, amicable agreement.
Ellen Groves

Strong Sales Boost Henkel’s 1Q Net
BERLIN — The Henkel Group reported double-digit gains Wednesday in net earnings, operating profits and sales for the first quarter of 2006.

Net earnings for the Düsseldorf-based group rose 10.1 percent to 185 million euros, or $221.5 million at average exchange, while operating profits grew 11.7 percent to 295 million euros, or $353.7 million. Group sales reached 3.05 billion euros, or $3.65 billion, for the period.

This story first appeared in the May 4, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The group’s organic growth was 5.9 percent, the firm noted. All business sectors, including cosmetics, toiletries, laundry, homecare and consumer and craftsman adhesives, contributed to the strong performance, according to chairman Ulrich Lehner.

Earnings before interest and taxes for Henkel’s beauty business increased 8.3 percent to 74 million euros, or $88.7 million, on sales of 642 million euros, or $769.8 million, an increase of 8.1 percent. Organic growth was 4.8 percent. Sales grew in all regions, but were “particularly encouraging” in western Europe and “above average” in Germany, eastern Europe and Latin America, the firm said.

On Tuesday, Henkel announced the completion of its acquisition of the Right Guard, Soft & Dri and Dry Idea deodorant brands from Gillette. Hans Van Bylen, executive vice president of cosmetics and toiletries, said the transaction “will take us to number three in the attractive American deodorant market.” According to the company, Henkel is now number three in the U.S. body care market.

Henkel confirmed its forecast for 2006, which calls for organic sales growth of 3 to 4 percent, a rise in EBIT of about 10 percent — after adjusting for foreign exchange — and a 10 percent gain in earnings per preferred share.
Melissa Drier

P&G Promotes Rebecca Masson
NEW YORK — Rebecca Masson has been named vice president of marketing for Procter & Gamble Prestige Products Inc.

Masson joined the company in August 2002 as director of marketing for the Gucci and Valentino fragrance brands and was promoted to vice president of marketing for the prestige division in May 2005. In her new role, she will be responsible for the marketing of all of the Prestige division’s brands, including Dunhill, Hugo Boss and Lacoste. She will report to Nicholas Munafo, executive vice president of marketing and sales. Before joining P&G, Masson held marketing positions with Chanel, Christian Dior and Boucheron/BPI.

GapBody Taps VP of Personal Care
NEW YORK — Gap Inc. has named Annette McEvoy vice president of Personal Care for GapBody. She will report to Tom Wyatt, president of GapBody. In her new role McEvoy will oversee all aspects of the personal care business for the Gap brand, including development, merchandising and marketing. She’ll also work with Inter Parfums to relaunch Gap brand’s personal care collection.

Prior to joining GapBody, McEvoy most recently was president of her own retail consultancy business, A. McEvoy & Associates. Her experience also includes posts at various personal care and beauty companies, including Bath & Body Works, Revlon and L’Oréal.