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Top Notes: Unilever Numbers … LVMH Appointments … Lauder Enters Vietnam …

Unilever announced Thursday third-quarter net profits rose 26 percent to 1.47 billion euros, or $1.77 billion at average exchange.

UNILEVER NUMBERS: Unilever announced Thursday third-quarter net profits rose 26 percent to 1.47 billion euros, or $1.77 billion at average exchange. That upswing was attributable to a post-tax gain of 448 million euros, or $536.7 million, from the sale of the company’s UCI prestige fragrance division, which includes the Calvin Klein and Vera Wang fragrance licenses, to Coty Inc. earlier this year. Stripping out such discontinued operations, profits slipped 11 percent in the three-month period, or 12 percent at constant exchange, to 1.03 billion euros, or $1.23 billion. Sales rose 4 percent to 10.22 billion euros, or $12.25 billion. At constant exchange, turnover was up 2 percent. The consumer goods giant’s personal care portfolio, which includes Dove, Lux, Axe, Pond’s, Rexona and Sunsilk, rang up sales of 2.76 billion euros, or $3.3 billion, in the quarter, an increase of 12 percent year-on-year.

LVMH Appointments: François Demachy has been named senior vice president of olfactive development at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s fragrance and cosmetics division, a newly created position. Demachy, who joined the company earlier this week, was previously director of research and development at Chanel since 1978, where he also acted as a perfumer. The LVMH division has also appointed Eric Perrier director of research and development. He will take up the new post Dec. 1. Perrier was scientific director at cosmetics industry supplier Coletica since 1996.

LAUDER ENTERS VIETNAM: The Estée Lauder brand has entered the Vietnamese market. Following in the footsteps of its sister brand Clinique, which opened a counter in Hanoi in 2001, the Lauder brand launched a counter at Parkson Saigon Plaza in Ho Chi Minh City. Concurrent to the Lauder opening last month, parent Estée Lauder Cos. opened Clinique’s second counter in Vietnam at the same Parkson store in Ho Chi Minh City. In terms of first-year sales volume, industry sources estimate that the new Lauder counter could generate $700,000 and that Clinique’s second counter in Vietnam could do $600,000.

PATEL TO COTY: Hitesh Patel has been named director, corporate communications, for Coty Inc. He reports to Bernd Beetz, Coty’s chief executive officer.

This story first appeared in the November 4, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.