PARIS — Groupe Clarins’ profits are back in the black.

For the first half ended June 30, the beauty company reported net earnings of 28.7 million euros, or $35.2 million, versus losses of 7.1 million euros, or $7.8 million, in the prior-year period. Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the corresponding periods.

Clarins attributed its profit gains to sustained sales growth and control over nonproductive expenses.

As reported, Clarins had first-half net sales of 436.9 million euros, or $536.1 million, up 4.6 percent at average exchange rates and 7.8 percent at constant exchange rates.

Operating profits for the firm rose 13.3 percent to 49.8 million euros, or $61.1 million, in the first half of 2004. At like-for-like exchange, the increase was 21.7 percent. Operating margin increased 0.9 points to 11.4 percent.

Net profits excluding the company’s couture activities grew 3.5 percent to 28.3 million euros, or $34.7 million. At constant exchange the increase was 17.9 percent.

Excluding special items and the amortization of goodwill and trademarks, Clarins’ cosmetics activities posted net income growth of 15.1 percent to 30.4 million euros, or $37.3 million. At like-for-like exchange rates, income was up 29.9 percent.

The company announced its shareholders’ equity was 455.6 million euros, or $559 million, up 14.6 percent in the half.

Clarins confirmed that for the year, it is on track to achieve 5 percent sales growth at constant exchange and a flat operating margin at 12.1 percent.

— Jennifer Weil

This story first appeared in the September 10, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.