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French Beauty Export Sales Reach 13.6 Billion Euros in 2017

Revenues from creams and fragrances made up three-quarters of the business.

PARIS — France remains the world’s largest exporter of beauty products, generating sales of 13.6 billion euros in 2017 outside of its borders, according to the country’s federation of beauty companies.

The Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté said Thursday that sales from the exports rose 12 percent versus the prior year, bolstered by revenues from fragrance and skin care.

The country’s trade balance remains positive at 10.5 billion euros, up almost 14 percent versus 2016.

Specifically, export sales to countries in the European Union gained 6.2 percent, driven by Germany, the U.K., Italy and Spain.

Exports to Asia — which make up 20 percent of all French beauty exports, or 2.6 billion euros’ worth — advanced 25 percent, while there was a 30 percent uptick to China and to Singapore. This annual turnout compares to a 9 percent rise in sales to Asia and no growth registered there in 2015.

Sales to North America gained 19 percent, with a 20 percent increase in the U.S., which is France’s second-largest export market for beauty products.

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Buoyed by revenues in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, exports to the Near and Middle East advanced 13.1 percent.

The only zone to post a decline was North Africa, where exports were down 14 percent, despite a 17 percent increase posted in Egypt.

By category, 44.3 percent of France’s beauty export revenues were generated by creams and 31 percent by fragrances. Revenues from color cosmetics were up 28 percent for lipstick, 14.5 percent for eye makeup and 25 percent for powders.

FEBEA is made up of more than 350 companies of which 82 percent are small and medium-sized businesses.