WWD Beauty Inc ranks the world’s largest beauty manufacturers. Firms are arranged by their beauty sales for the 2019 calendar year. For those companies whose fiscal year did not run from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2019, estimates were calculated. All sales figures were either obtained from the companies or generated with the help of industry sources, indicated by (EST.) in the ranking.
For this list, “beauty” includes fragrance, makeup, skin care, body care, sun care, hair care, deodorant, plus cellulite and shaving products. It does not take into account bar soaps, razors, toothpastes, food and diet foods, medicines, vitamins or detergents. The revenues only include sales of beauty products each firm manufactures and do not include business from private-label lines or products distributed for other companies. Information in the main brands section reflects each company’s holdings in 2019.
Year-on-year percentage changes are in reported terms, not on a like-for-like or constant-currency basis. Non-U.S.-based firms’ sales are converted into dollars according to the 2019 average yearly exchange rate.*
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2019 Beauty Sales:
+10.9% VS. 2018
Consumer Products: L’Oréal Paris, Garnier, Maybelline New York, NYX Professional Makeup, Stylenanda, Essie, Dark & Lovely, Niely, Magic.
PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS: L’Oréal Professionnel, Redken, Kérastase, Matrix, Pureology.
Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Kiehl’s, Biotherm, Urban Decay, Shu Uemura, IT Cosmetics, Helena Rubinstein, Ralph Lauren, Viktor & Rolf, Cacharel, Diesel, Clarisonic, Yue Sai, Atelier Cologne, Valentino.
La Roche-Posay, Vichy, SkinCeuticals, CeraVe, Decléor, Roger&Gallet.
Like-for-like sales growth: +8%
Sales growth: +8.8%
€5.55 billion, +12.7%
€4.36 billion, +9.3%
Sales by Division:
Professional Products: €3.44 billion, +5.5% (+3.2% like-for-like)
€12.75 billion, +6%
€11.02 billion, +17.6% (+13.8% like-for-like)
+17.1% (+15.5% like-for-like)
Sales by Geographic Zone:
€8.28 billion, +2.6% (+1.8% like-for-like)
€7.57 billion, +4.6%
Asia-Pacific: €9.66 billion, +30.4% (+25.5% like-for-like)
Latin America: €1.77 billion, -0.7% (+2% like-for-like)
€1.91 billion, +8.9%
Africa and Middle East: €688.7 million, -0.7% (-4.1% like-for-like)
Biggest markets: The U.S., China and France.
It was another year of strong acceleration for the world’s largest beauty player, which saw its sales grow at the fastest rate since 2007. Its Luxe and Active Cosmetics divisions did particularly well, the latter witnessing its best year ever, according to the company. The year was also marked by an improvement in the Professional Products division, which had been hampered by a lackluster salon market for several years, and growth within Consumer Products, notably thanks to the L’Oréal Paris brand.
Among the year’s major moves, L’Oréal was particularly active in its attempts to bolster its presence in the premium fragrance category, where it had lost its global leadership positioning to Coty following its acquisition of the Procter & Gamble luxury fragrance brands in 2016. In October, L’Oréal inked an agreement with Groupe Clarins to acquire its fragrance business—notably the Mugler and Azzaro brands, which had sales of around €340 million in 2018. The deal closed at the end of the first quarter of 2020. After months of speculation, a licensing agreement was also signed with Prada in December, landing L’Oréal the rights to the brand—previously under Puig—starting in January 2021.
Through its BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development fund, the firm took a minority stake in Canadian aesthetic medicine specialist Functionalab Group; invested in the Cathay Innovation fund to support the beauty tech start-up ecosystem in China and in Fireside Fund II, aimed at supporting innovative consumer brands in India, as well as investing in Carbios, a biotech start-up aiming to reinvent the life cycle of polymers.
Among executive moves, three new members joined L’Oréal’s executive committee—Alexandra Palt, who became chief corporate responsibility officer and executive vice president of the Fondation L’Oréal, Vincent Boinay, who is general manager for travel retail worldwide, and Fabrice Megarbane, president of L’Oréal China. Christophe Babule was named executive vice president and chief financial officer, succeeding Christian Mulliez as of February 2019, and Cyril Chapuy became president of L’Oréal Luxe starting in January 2019. Stéphane Rinderknech was named president and chief executive officer of L’Oréal USA and executive vice president for North America.
The L’Oréal Luxe division was driven by the strong dynamism of its four biggest brands—Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani and Kiehl’s—with all of them posting double-digit growth. Lancôme performed well in skin care and was boosted by the launch of fragrance Idôle, targeting the Millennial consumer and fronted by Zendaya. It was also a good year in fragrance for Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani. Atelier Cologne performed well and initial results under Valentino, which joined L’Oréal’s portfolio in January 2019, were strong.
Within Active Cosmetics, La Roche-Posay’s sales broke the €1 billion barrier, and the division as a whole grew at twice the overall rate of the dermocosmetics market, according to L’Oréal. Vichy performed well in Eastern Europe and Latin America, and SkinCeuticals grew strongly, especially in the U.S. and China, where its sales reportedly almost tripled. CeraVe continued its international expansion.
Professional Products saw a clear acceleration in the second half, and outpaced the market in growth, attributable to double-digit increases from Kérastase as well as successes under Matrix, Redken and L’Oréal Professionnel. Growth was particularly strong in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific, and the year was marked by an acceleration in the division’s e-commerce revenues.
Under Consumer Products, L’Oréal Paris saw its strongest growth since 2007, boosted by major launches including Rouge Signature in makeup and Revitalift Filler in skin care. Garnier was driven by emerging markets and its Tissue Masks and Micellar Cleansing Water products, and enhanced its initiatives in the organic and naturals space. Stylenanda, acquired in 2018, performed strongly in Asia. By category, skin care grew significantly for the division, while makeup slowed in established markets, notably the U.S., in line with market trends.
By geographic zone, Asia-Pacific became the group’s biggest region in terms of sales, thanks to what L’Oréal described as “a remarkable end to the year in China,” reporting results before the coronavirus pandemic. Sales were also strong in South Korea, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, although Hong Kong was impacted by the social context there, especially in the fourth quarter. Eastern Europe grew strongly, while Western Europe saw a return to growth, and North America was negatively impacted by the makeup category, which held back both the Consumer Products Division and
Group-wide, e-commerce sales jumped by a massive 52.4 percent, accounting for 15.6 percent of group revenues for the year. Travel retail also continued to be a driver, with its sales up 25.3 percent.
In early February 2020, L’Oréal announced plans to divest the Roger & Gallet brand to French investment holding concern Impala after a strategic review. A deal is expected to be completed this summer.
LONDON/ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
2019 BEAUTY SALES:
$22.49 Billion (EST.)
€20.1 Billion (EST.)
+6% VS. 2018 (EST.)
BEAUTY & PERSONAL CARE: AHC, Axe/Lynx, Clear, Dollar Shave Club, Dove, Dove Men+Care, Lifebuoy, Love Beauty and Planet, Lux, Nexxus, Pond’s, Rexona/Sure/Degree, Schmidt’s Naturals, Shea Moisture, Simple, Skinsei, St. Ives, Suave, Sunsilk/Seda/Sedal, TIGI, TRESemmé, Vaseline, The Right to Shower. Unilever Prestige: Dermalogica, Garancia, Hourglass, Kate Somerville, Living Proof, Murad, Ren Clean Skincare, Tatcha.
Beauty & Personal Care division revenues:
€21.87 billion, +6% (underlying sales growth: +2.6%, underlying volume growth: +1.7%)
Division operating profit:
€4.52 billion, +8.5%
Total company revenues:
€51.98 billion, +2%
€8.71 billion, -31.1%*
€6.0 billion, -38.4%*
* After restatement of 2018 profits due to a change in accounting standards.
Following Alan Jope’s promotion as chief executive officer of Unilever on Jan. 1, 2019, the company named Sunny Jain as president of its Beauty & Personal Care division, effective in June. Jain was previously head of Amazon’s Core Consumables business unit, which includes the beauty and personal-care categories, and before that spent more than 16 years at Procter & Gamble.
At the time of his nomination, Jope described Jain’s background as “unique” in that it combines consumer goods, online retail and an understanding of the beauty market. “It makes him exceptionally well-suited to help us deliver our growth ambitions for our Beauty & Personal Care division,” he stated.
For Unilever’s beauty activity, the deodorant category grew well, supported by double-digit growth from Dove and strong performance from Rexona Clinical Protection, which has patented anti-perspirant technology. Skin cleansing was hampered by price reductions, although Dove did well with products targeting the skin microbiome, while hair care suffered from competition in the U.S. market and in China, where continued pressure from local players negatively impacted sales. In skin care, Pond’s and Vaseline performed well, in part thanks to innovations including Pond’s Glow Up cream, a skin-care/makeup hybrid. Simple expanded into underpenetrated markets.
The company continued to broaden its portfolio in line with growing demand for natural beauty. Love Beauty and Planet, introduced in North America in 2018, expanded into new categories and launched in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America. St. Ives, Simple, and Love Beauty and Planet joined Dove in becoming PETA certified cruelty-free.
Unilever’s prestige brands—with total sales of approximately €600 million—continued to see double-digit growth, with Dermalogica, Hourglass and Living Proof performing particularly well, according to the company.
Unilever continued to expand its prestige portfolio, adding French dermocosmetics brand Garancia in April, strengthening its business in the pharmacy channel, and acquiring 95 percent of U.S.-based Tatcha, a line built around Japanese skin-care rituals, for close to $500 million in July.
In October, the company acquired 70 percent of Japanese premium skin-care brand Lenor, expanding its portfolio in Japan and China, for an undisclosed sum.
Unilever Ventures, the company’s investment vehicle, took stakes in clean makeup start-up Saie Beauty and Australian skin-care brand Dr Roebuck’s, and contributed to an investment round in coconut-based beauty line Kopari.
As well as naming Jain to head the beauty activity, Unilever continued to reshuffle its top management in order to become a “faster, leaner and more agile” group, with Nitin Paranjpe, formerly president of the group’s Foods & Refreshment arm, being named chief operating officer, effective in May, and a changing of the guard for several of its senior regional heads. Marjin Dekkers stepped down from his role as chairman of Unilever’s board in November, with non-executive director Nils Andersen taking on the position. Richard Slater joined the firm as chief research and development officer in April 2019, leading its R&D activity for beauty and personal care globally. Fabian Garcia, former president and ceo of Revlon, was named president of Unilever North America, and Conny Braams, previously vice president of Unilever Middle Europe, took on the new role of chief digital and marketing officer as the company aims to ramp up its digital prowess. Both changes took effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Unilever also ramped up its sustainability commitments, promising to halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025 by reducing the amount of material it uses by more than 100,000 tons and participating in initiatives to improve recycling, including waste management infrastructure. Under Dove, the firm announced that it would be introducing 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles where technically feasible across all of its ranges, and continue to seek solutions for parts that cannot currently be made from recycled plastic, including caps and pumps. Unilever’s Sustainable Living brands grew 69 percent faster than the rest of the business and delivered 75 percent of the company’s total growth.
3. THE ESTÉE LAUDER COS.
2019 BEAUTY SALES:
$15.9 BILLION (EST.)
+12% VS 2018 (EST.)
Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Tommy Hilfiger, Kiton, La Mer, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Darphin, Michael Kors, Tom Ford Beauty, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, Aerin, Tory Burch, Rodin Olio Lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Glamglow,
By Kilian, Becca, Too Faced, Dr Jart+, Do The Right Thing.
KEY FINANCIALS (EST.):
Constant-currency sales growth: +14%
$6 billion, +22%
$5.7 billion, +5%
$1.8 billion, +2%
$585 million, flat
The U.S.: 23%
The U.K.: 6%
The Estée Lauder Cos. continued a strong growth streak through 2019, wrapping up the year with a 12 percent increase in overall sales, a new skin-care acquisition and gains across both big and small brands.
Chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda attributed the company’s consistent increases to Lauder’s “multiple engines of growth” and 10-year compass strategies, which emphasize business diversification and honing in early on beauty trends. Sales were particularly strong in China, pre-coronavirus, in travel retail and in skin care throughout the year. North America
continued an already-established slowdown.
In China, Lauder continued to propel brands via the Tmall platform. Top performers included Tom Ford Beauty and Jo Malone London, which drove strong sales upon launch.
Online sales for the company grew broadly, to $2.6 billion in net sales in 2019. Lauder’s e-commerce business is now active in more than 50 countries, with over 300 brand.com sites.
In line with the rest of the beauty world, in 2019, Lauder saw strong gains in skin care—up 22 percent for the calendar year, versus 2018. Several brands drove sales, including Estée Lauder, which has created a thriving franchise around Advanced Night Repair and also saw strong sales around Re-Nutriv and Micro Essence, and La Mer, which gained broadly. Clinique and Origins drove skin-care gains via moisturizers.
Towards the end of the year, Lauder made its first acquisition in Asia with the purchase of the rest of Korean skin-care business Have & Be Co., which owns Dr Jart + and Do The Right Thing. The deal, which adds another skin-care brand to Lauder’s lineup, valued the business at $1.7 billion, and followed Lauder’s 2015 minority investment in the company. Executives have expressed interest in expanding the brands in more channels and geographies. Also on the M&A front, Lauder sold the beauty license for Tory Burch to Shiseido, effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Makeup sales, which fell off a cliff in the U.S., were able to gain globally, by 7 percent during the year. That was driven by Estée Lauder’s Double Wear line, Tom Ford, Bobbi Brown and La Mer. Lauder ended up taking a $777 million impairment charge for Too Faced, Becca and Smashbox—all acquired brands—based on declines in the makeup category.
In hair, which remains the fastest-growing category in U.S. prestige beauty, but one that has not taken off globally, Aveda saw strong gains and has recently expanded into Brazil. Fragrance sales also gained, thanks to brands like Tom Ford and Jo Malone London.
Travel retail remained a top channel for Lauder during the year. There, the firm’s strategy includes leveraging local market investments in product innovation, marketing and advertising to appeal to consumers that know they plan to shop.
Looking forward, Lauder is projecting low to no growth in the near term, based on the effects of the coronavirus, which is affecting sales in China
and travel retail, two of the company’s biggest sales drivers.
4. PROCTER & GAMBLE
2019 BEAUTY SALES:
$13.9 BILLION (EST.)
+5.1% VS. 2018 (EST.)
Aussie, Hair Food, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Pantene, Rejoice, VS, Walker & Co. (hair care). First Aid Beauty, SK-II, Snowberry (skin care). Olay (skin and body care). Old Spice (hair and body care, deodorant). Gillette (body care, deodorant). The Art of Shaving, Ivory, Safeguard (body care). Native, Secret (deodorant).
Organic growth: +8%
Procter & Gamble’s beauty sales gained in 2019, thanks to continued growth of megabrand SK-II, acceleration of Olay in China and the U.S., and the turnaround of the hair-care portfolio.
Alex Keith, who was already leading the beauty segment within P&G, was promoted to chief executive officer of P&G Beauty in mid-2019, making her the
only female ceo of a Top 20 beauty company in the WWD Beauty Inc Top 100.
During the year, SK-II continued as a sales powerhouse—the brand has now posted 20 consecutive quarters of double-digit sales gains, and analysts estimate it is approaching $3 billion in annual sales, making it a major player in beauty broadly, not just at P&G. In 2019, SK-II sales were driven by growth in travel retail, China and continued expansion in the U.S.
Olay, which underwent a major revamp in 2016, is on its third year of global growth, thanks to China, where it had a particularly successful Singles Day. In the U.S., new launch Retinol 24 has done well, as have Olay Whips moisturizers, introduced in 2018.
P&G’s hair portfolio posted its best sales growth in nearly a decade, with increases driven by the company’s largest market—the U.S. P&G also made gains in China, which it attributed to innovation and marketing efforts. In Europe, the hair business grew in the mid-single digits.
Pantene brought several on-trend products to the market, including the sulfate-free Rose Water franchise in the U.S., and Hair Biology in Europe. Herbal Essences further solidified its positioning in the natural space through partnerships with the Environmental Working Group, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and a PETA Cruelty-Free certification.
P&G Beauty didn’t make any beauty acquisitions in 2019, but the larger organization clearly demonstrated interest in the wellness category with the acquisition of This is L, which makes organic tampons.
While there were no new beauty brands added via acquisition, P&G Beauty did incubate and launch several of its own brands, including My Black Is Beautiful, a hair brand for natural hair sold at Sally Beauty, and Waterless, a care and styling line meant to be used without water.
The firm also expanded several of its previous acquisitions, including Native, First Aid Beauty and Walker & Co., into new products and channels. During the year, Native, a direct-to-consumer deodorant and personal-care business that P&G bought in 2017, expanded within brick-and-mortar retail with Target, Walmart and Walgreens. The business heads into 2020 with new leadership—founder Moiz Ali has left the business, and P&G veteran Vineet Kumar has stepped up as ceo with plans to grow Native to $1 billion in global sales.
P&G got behind several branded charitable initiatives during the course of the year, including Secret’s mission for women’s equality and closing the gender pay gap. The brand donated millions of dollars to the cause, a P&G spokeswoman said, including a $529,000 donation to the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. In Japan, Pantene launched a campaign called #HairWeGo meant to overcome hair conformity, which resulted in 139 Japanese companies pledging to cease demanding hair uniformity in job applicants.
2019 BEAUTY SALES:
$10.09 BILLION (EST.)
¥1.1 TRILLION (EST.)
+3.5% VS. 2018 (EST.)
Shiseido, Clé de Peau Beauté, BareMinerals, Nars, Laura Mercier, Ipsa, Shiseido Professional, Elixir, Maquillage, Anessa, Za, Aupres, Urara, Pure & Mild, Tsubaki, Sea Breeze, Senka, Ettusais, Drunk Elephant. Fragrance: Dolce & Gabbana, Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez, Elie Saab, Zadig & Voltaire, Serge Lutens.
¥1.13 trillion, +3.4%
(+5.7% at constant currency, +6.8% like-for-like)
¥451.59 billion, -0.6%
¥216.24 billion, +13.3%
Rest of Asia-Pacific:
¥69.84 billion, +2.5%
¥124.32 billion, -5.6%
¥118.42 billion, +4.6%
¥102.2 billion, +16.6%
¥14.69 billion, +3.8%
¥113.83 billion, +5.1%
¥73.56 billion, +19.8%
Despite complex conditions in many of its markets, Shiseido continued to register sales increases, driven by its prestige brands, gains in China and travel retail, and a strategy focusing on its core skin-care expertise at home.
President and chief executive officer Masahiko Uotani, who has shaken up the company’s corporate culture since he took on the role in 2014, saw his term renewed for another five years, until 2024, on the back of his results, in which the company met its “Vision 2020” strategic plan ahead
Shiseido continued to concentrate marketing investment on its prestige brands and made-in-Japan products, improving profitability in the Americas and EMEA, and invested more heavily in digital marketing and innovation. Other areas of focus included building production capacities—a new factory in Nasu, its first in 36 years, opened in November and a new global innovation center in Yokohama began operations in April.
In one of beauty’s buzziest M&A moves of the year, Shiseido Americas snapped up clean skin-care brand Drunk Elephant in November for $845 million. The acquisition is expected to further strengthen and expand the company’s prestige skin-care business and build its revenues in the Americas. It also entered a global licensing agreement for Tory Burch in August, which took effect from Jan. 1, 2020. Both moves are expected to further expand Shiseido’s global footprint.
Despite the difficult market context, Shiseido registered sales gains in 2019. In Japan, economic conditions continued to recover moderately due to employment and income gains, although a consumption tax hike in October and natural disasters dampened consumer spending. Domestic demand from inbound tourists remained firm as the firm ramped up its cross-border marketing activities in Asia, although sales were negatively impacted by a stronger yen and the enactment of a new e-commerce law in China. Ultimune serum and Shiseido-branded foundations grew well.
Internationally, China and the rest of Asia were negatively impacted by factors including the social climate in Hong Kong, although growth in the region remained firm overall. In China, prestige brands Shiseido, Clé de Peau Beauté, IPSA and Nars gained, and Chinese e-commerce sales grew thanks to stronger collaborations with local online platforms and digital marketing initiatives.
In the rest of Asia-Pacific, Laura Mercier and Clé de Peau Beauté performed well, and Elixir, Anessa and Dolce & Gabbana saw significant gains. Conditions were tough in South Korea due to a changing market, while in Southeast Asia, the firm performed well on the back of boutique expansion and increased marketing investment.
In the Americas, Shiseido and Dolce & Gabbana continued to grow, although the weak makeup market negatively impacted sales overall. Shiseido continued its restructuring of BareMinerals, including the closure of unprofitable boutiques.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Dolce & Gabbana and Narciso Rodriguez gained thanks to the strong performance of new products, while Shiseido performed well in makeup and Nars continued to grow. Clé de Peau Beauté opened a boutique in London in October and plans to continue expanding in Europe.
Travel retail, a key area of focus, continued to grow strongly, largely thanks to increasing passenger numbers in Asia. Increased promotional activity in airports around the world resulted in strong growth for Shiseido, Clé de Peau Beauté, Nars and Anessa, especially in South Korea, China and Thailand. IPSA and Elixir expanded their presence in the channel during the year.
The company also made progress in accelerating its corporate social responsibility activities. It established a new “social value creation division” with the intention to accelerate value creation with regards to the environment, society and culture. Separate departments within the division are working on environmental activities, the empowerment of women and gender equality, and corporate culture.
6. COTY INC.
2019 BEAUTY SALES:
$8.65 BILLION (EST.)
-4.5% VS. 2018 (EST.)
Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Marc Jacobs, Chloé, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Davidoff, Miu Miu, Lacoste, Stella McCartney, Tiffany & Co., Joop!, Jil Sander, Roberto Cavalli, Escada (prestige fragrance). Philosophy (skin care, fragrance). Lancaster (skin care). Gucci, Burberry (fragrance, color cosmetics).
CoverGirl, Rimmel London, Max Factor, Bourjois, Manhattan (color cosmetics). Sally Hansen, Risque (nail products). Clairol, Wella Koleston, Biocolor (retail hair color). Adidas, Cenoura & Bronze, Paixão, Bozzano, Monage (body care). Bruno Banani, Katy Perry, David Beckham, Nautica (mass fragrance).
PROFESSIONAL BEAUTY: Wella Professionals, System Professional, Sebastian Professional, Nioxin, Londa Professional, Kadus Professional, Clairol Professional, Sassoon Professional, Wella Color Charm (professional hair care). OPI (nail products). Ghd (stylers).
Luxury Beauty net sales:
$3.3 billion (EST.) flat
Consumer Beauty net sales: $3.5 billion
$1.8 billion (EST.), flat
In its first full year under the relatively new leadership of chief executive officer Pierre Laubies—whose exit after 18 months in the role was announced in February 2020—and Pierre André Terisse, chief financial officer, Coty Inc. unveiled a turnaround plan, bought a majority stake in Kylie Cosmetics, made the decisions to sell its professional division and move the company headquarters to Amsterdam.
As far as the turnaround goes, the plan was relatively straightforward from a financial perspective, and centered on improving profit margins and paying down debt. It also includes softer points, like restructuring certain teams and moving executives around—Edgar Huber became president of Americas and Asia-Pacific; Gianni Pieraccioni became president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Fiona Hughes took the helm as president of the consumer beauty segment; Simona Cattaneo was appointed president of the luxury division. Large efforts are now focused on a few top brands instead of all brands.
As it tends to go with Coty, so far, the results have been mixed.
Executives touted 130 basis point gross margin improvement and “green shoots” in the consumer beauty division that appeared during the fourth quarter of its fiscal year. On the ownership side, Coty majority owner JAB increased its stake from about 40 to 60 percent, which Wall Street analysts took as a good sign.
The consumer division, which has been plagued by shelf space losses and general disinterest in the mass channel since Coty took it over from Procter & Gamble in 2016, continued to be the problem child. A CoverGirl re-brand gone awry was rerouted back to the brand’s core consumers in 2019, resulting in what executives termed “progress,” while Clairol, another struggler, is expected to be sold as part of the professional division divestment.
During the year, Coty also shed Younique, in which it had bought a 60 percent stake in 2016 under then-ceo Camillo Pane. That exit got Coty out of the peer-to-peer selling model.
With that handled, Coty turned to its other business units, and ultimately decided to sell the professional division, which has been relatively stable. In a new-ish move, Coty looked to an outside banker, Credit Suisse, to handle the sale, which is said to have attracted interest from most large private equity firms, as well as strategic buyers. An exit is expected to be finalized midway through 2020. As part of that deal, Coty is also evaluating options for the Brazilian business acquired under former ceo and chairman Bart Becht.
On the acquisition front, Coty became the first strategic acquirer to buy in—literally—to an influencer brand with the purchase of a majority stake in Kylie Cosmetics. First reported by WWD in June, officially announced in November, and closed in January 2020, Coty is now the 51 percent owner of Kylie Cosmetics, and has plans to expand the brand’s skin-care and makeup offerings. Other acquisitions are possible, but would need to fall within Coty’s core competencies, executives have said.
In March 2020, Coty unveiled that after the sale of the professional division is concluded, Laubies will step aside as ceo, and Pierre Denis, the ceo of Jimmy Choo, will take the helm. The news came as a surprise to employees and analysts, but unlike his predecessors, Denis brings beauty experience into the business. He is tasked with accelerating sales in 2020 and beyond.
7. LVMH MOËT HENNESSY LOUIS VUITTON
2019 Beauty Sales:
$7.65 Billion (EST.)
€6.84 Billion (EST.)
+12.2% VS. 2018 (EST.)
Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Parfums Givenchy, Parfums Kenzo, Fendi, Pucci, Acqua di Parma, Parfums Loewe, Benefit Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Fresh. Maison Francis Kurkdjian (majority stake). Kendo Brands: Bite Beauty, Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Ole Henriksen, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna; Bulgari; Louis Vuitton; Sephora.
Organic sales growth:+9%
LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics division revenue breakdown by region:
France 10%, rest of Europe 20%, U.S. 15%, Japan 5%, Rest of Asia 40%, Other markets 10%.
Perfumes and Cosmetics Division profit from recurring operations:
€683 million, +1%
Number of branded beauty stand-alone stores:
LVMH’s beauty activity was spurred by the momentum of its historic brands and what it described as “surging demand” in Asia, notably in China. The division’s operating profit was however impacted by expenses related to investment in product development under its younger brands.
The year also saw a major management reshuffle for the company’s beauty activity. After 19 years at the helm of flagship brand Parfums Christian Dior, where he is credited for having built the business into the jewel in the crown of LVMH’s beauty activity, Claude Martinez was named managing director of LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics in late 2019, with oversight of Guerlain, Parfums Givenchy and Parfums Kenzo, as well as Dior’s beauty activity. Laurent Kleitman, who had been president of Coty’s consumer beauty activity since 2017, before which he was executive vice president of global hair care at Unilever, was named president and chief executive officer of Parfums Christian Dior, effective Nov. 6, 2019.
Guerlain also saw a change in leadership, with Véronique Courtois taking over the ceo reins from Laurent Boillot, who was named ceo of Hennessy, on Nov. 1. Christie Fleischer, previously head of global consumer products at Netflix, was named ceo of Benefit. Kendo promoted Kristin Walcott to president and Heather Fisher to senior vice president of global marketing, effective early in 2020. At Sephora, Brooke Banwart was named vice president and general manager for private-label line Sephora Collection, effective February 2020.
As for 2019 business drivers, Dior was boosted by flagship lines and innovation, with Joy rolling out internationally. Launched in 2018, it is now the third best-selling fragrance worldwide, according to LVMH. Miss Dior, J’Adore and Sauvage also grew, as did high-end line Maison Christian Dior. In makeup, Rouge Dior lipstick and new launch Dior Addict Stellar Shine did well, and Dior Backstage, inspired by the fashion show universe, gained traction and generated social media buzz. The brand’s skin-care business was driven by Asia.
China became the number-one market globally for Guerlain, which performed well overall, driven by boutiques and online. The brand enhanced its sustainability discourse, introducing a transparency platform online that gives consumers access to information about how each product is created and the suppliers. Guerlain also partnered with UNESCO to help repopulate bee colonies around the world.
Parfums Givenchy was bolstered by China and travel retail, notably thanks to Le Rouge lipstick and Prisme Libre powder; new fragrance L’Interdit was a major success in Europe. Kenzo was driven by new flanker Flower by Kenzo Eau de Vie, while Benefit boosted its position in the U.S. and U.K. markets. Fresh saw strong demand in China and online. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna added new categories, including concealers available in 50 shades, and began expanding into Asia. The brand remains a social media hit. Acqua di Parma reopened its Milan flagship with a new concept, while Loewe re-branded, aiming to present a more youthful image and target an international audience. Maison Francis Kurkdjian saw success with Baccarat Rouge 540 and the launch of Gentle Fluidity. Ole Henriksen expanded in the U.S. and was boosted by the popularity of its Banana Bright range among young consumers there.
2019 Beauty Sales:
$6.71 BILLION (EST.)
€6 BILLION (EST.)
+6.5% VS. 2018 (EST.)
Nivea, Eucerin, La Prairie, Labello, 8×4, Hidrofugal, Florena, Atrix, Aquaphor, Maestro.
Consumer Division sales: €6.27 billion,
+6.5% (organic sales growth: +4.8%)
Consumer Division sales by region:
+2.7% (+2.2% organic)
€609 million, +3.8%
€497 million, +12.4% (+3.8% organic)
€648 million, +6.3%
€2.1 billion, +10.8%
Consumer division EBIT excluding special factors:
€896 million, -0.8%
In the first year of its new corporate strategy dubbed the “C.A.R.E.+” program, which involves a €70 million-to-€80 million investment for its consumer business unit to pursue new markets, innovation, digitalization and up-skilling, Beiersdorf saw strong sales growth for its beauty business.
New ceo Stefan De Loecker took up his role on Jan. 1, 2019, the start of heightened activity for the company. The year was marked by the acquisition of the Coppertone brand from Bayer for $550 million, tapping more widely into the U.S. sun-care market—the world’s largest—and reinforcing Beiersdorf’s place as the world’s largest player in the segment. The buyout was the first major milestone in the new strategy and was finalized in August.
The firm also took a significant stake in South Korean data-driven skin-care and tech start-up LYCL Inc. via its venture fund. The move is part of Beiersdorf’s new strategy to win in the skin-care category and become more consumer-centric via digitalization, and further strengthens its footprint in South Korea and the rest of Asia.
It also created its own corporate indie brand unit, named Oscar&Paul after the company’s founders, in order to consolidate new approaches to innovation internally. The 8×4, Labello and Hidrofugal brands will be managed under the new division, which also serves as an innovation cell for new concepts.
The first of these is a new skin-care brand dedicated to tattooed skin, Skin Stories, Beiersdorf’s first brand launch in more than 30 years. As part of the launch, the brand also created the Expert Circle, a think tank for tattooing. The brand, with four products, launched at retail and in tattoo salons in late September.
In October, Florena Fermented Skincare launched in France and Italy, marking the firm’s entrance into the natural cosmetics segment. Nivea Naturally Good, based on 98 percent natural ingredients, also hit the market.
Chinese hair-care brand Slek, meanwhile, was divested to local company Mengxing Zhiyuan Group, offsetting the positive effective of the acquisition of Coppertone on sales.
In organic terms, Nivea increased its sales by 3 percent, driven by the deodorant, skin- and body-care categories. Eucerin and Aquaphor grew by 7.5 percent thanks notably to business in the U.S., Germany, Asia and South America. La Prairie’s revenues increased by 20 percent in organic terms, largely thanks to Asian travel retail, China and Australia, although it saw declines in Hong Kong and in domestic markets in Europe.
Business in Europe was boosted by strong sales in Germany and the ongoing outperformance of La Prairie in travel retail. In the Americas, gains were strong in Brazil and Mexico. Eucerin entered Russia and opened an online shop on Tmall in China.
Beiersdorf ramped up its sustainability commitments, becoming a founding member of the Action for Sustainable Derivatives initiative with the aim of driving action on the sustainable sourcing and production of palm oil. In September, Beiersdorf joined the Global Shea Alliance, committing to support 10,000 shea collectors over five years in Ghana and Burkina Faso.
The company invested in production capacity, including injecting €55 million in expanding a factory in Spain. It also expanded its facilities in India, Thailand and Brazil and established two new subsidiaries, in Israel and Myanmar. Plans were announced to invest €10 million in a new skin-care innovation center in Shanghai, which will become the firm’s R&D hub for East and Northeast Asia.
9. CHANEL LTD.
2019 Beauty Sales:
$6.66 BILLION (EST.)
€5.95 BILLION (EST.)
+8% VS. 2018 (EST.)
Chanel No.5, Gabrielle Chanel, Allure, Allure Sensuelle, Coco, Coco Mademoiselle, Coco Noir, Chance, Chance Eau Fraîche, Chance Eau Tendre, Chance Eau Vive, No.19, Cristalle, Allure Homme, Allure Homme S, Allure Homme Edition Blanche, Bleu de Chanel, Pour Monsieur, Antaeus, Egoiste, Platinum Egoiste, Les Exclusifs, Les Eaux de Chanel (fragrance). Sublimage, Blue Serum, Le Lift, Hydra Beauty, CC Cream, Le Blanc (skin care). Rouge Allure, Rouge Coco, Le Vernis, Inimitable, Le Volume, Dimensions, Les 4 Ombres, Ombre Première, Les Beiges, Vitalumière, Le Blanc, Le Teint Ultra, Sublimage, Joues Contrastes (makeup).
The U.S., China and Japan represented an estimated 35% of 2019 sales.
Chanel’s 2019 was marked by the loss of its legendary longtime creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, who passed away in February after 36 years in the role. As for its beauty activity, Chanel registered growth in every category and region, with its strongest results coming from Asia and skin care.
Chanel’s skin care, its fastest-growing business of the year, was particularly strong in Asia. La Mousse, Sublimage, a new Le Lift serum and hand creams all continued to perform well. In fragrance, the Chance master-brand, helped by the launch of Chance Eau Tendre Eau de Parfum, and Bleu de Chanel Parfum, drove growth. The segment performed particularly well in Asia and Europe. Gabrielle Essence launched in Europe, the U.S. and the U.K., with a campaign fronted by Margot Robbie. Makeup was driven by lip products, including the new Rouge Coco Flash lipstick line and the Rouge Allure franchise, and growth in China. Les Beiges Eau de Teint, a patented innovative foundation with micro-droplet pigment technology, launched in early 2019.
The privately owned firm continued to ramp up its stand-alone retail and e-commerce footprints. It launched 11 new e-commerce sites in Northern and Eastern Europe in November, as well as a beauty e-commerce platform on Tmall for China. In brick-and-mortar retail, the brand opened a revamped beauty flagship on Paris’ Avenue des Champs-Elysées and an interactive Atelier de Beauté in New York’s SoHo.
10. L BRANDS
2019 BEAUTY SALES:
$6.5 BILLION (EST.)
+9% VS. 2018
Bath & Body Works: Signature Collection (fragrance, body care), Aromatherapy, Water, CocoShea, Bath Fizzies, Face Masks (body care). Men’s Collection (fragrance, body care). Hand Soaps, Hand Cream (hand care).
Victoria’s Secret Bombshell, Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Seduction, Victoria’s Secret Love, Victoria’s Secret Heavenly, Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy, Victoria’s Secret Tease, Victoria’s Secret Eau So Sexy, Victoria’s Secret Crush, Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy for Him, Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy for Him Platinum, Victoria’s Secret The Mist Collection (fragrance mists and lotion), Victoria’s Secret Velvet Matte Lip Collection, Victoria’s Secret Total Shine Addict Gloss Collection, Victoria’s Secret Get Gloss Collection, Victoria’s Secret Angel Edit (makeup).
Total company sales
(Year ended Feb. 1, 2020):
$12.91 billion, -2.4%
Bath & Body Works sales: $5.17 billion, +10%
Victoria’s Secret sales:
$6.81 billion, -7%
Victoria’s Secret’s estimated beauty sales were approx. $1.02 billion
With a 10 percent increase in sales, Bath & Body Works was the bright spot for L Brands in 2019, while Victoria’s Secret faced continued problems with behind-the-times product and messaging. In an age of body positivity and diversity embraced by brands from Savage by Fenty to ThirdLove or Aerie, Victoria’s Secret stuck to sexy messaging—and it showed in terms of the company’s sales, which plummeted. The issues were compounded by then-chairman Leslie Wexner’s ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In early 2020, L Brands made a deal to sell a 55 percent stake in beleaguered Victoria’s Secret to private equity firm Sycamore partners for $525 million. As part of that transaction, Wexner, L Brands’ chairman, stepped aside and was later replaced by Sarah Nash.
Beauty sales at Victoria’s Secret deteriorated in 2019, down to just over $1 billion.
Things were much brighter at Bath & Body Works, which was slated to be spun into its own public company in the second quarter of 2020 before the global coronavirus pandemic.
For the year, the business grew sales to nearly $5.2 billion, with about $4.2 billion in stores and $958 million direct. Bath & Body Works continued to open stores in 2019, including in Canada and in travel retail corridors.
The company’s international business grew by about 20 percent during the year, L Brands executives said on a company earnings call, to about $400 million in retail sales. Bath & Body Works had about 266 international stores at the end of the fiscal year, with 1,739 Bath & Body Works-owned stores total. The business has benefited from continued newness, and launched new fragrances that resonated with Bath & Body Works’ loyal shoppers.
*CURRENCY CONVERSIONS: Sales figures in non-U.S. currencies were converted to the dollar using the following 2019 average exchange rates from Oanda.com:
1=$1.119022; ¥1=$0.009174; £1=$1.276639; 1 KRW=$0.000857; 1 Ruble=$0.015464; R$1=$0.253597; CNY 1=$0.144772; 1 Rupee=$0.014198; 1 SFr=$1.006015; 1 HK$=$0.127620; 1 C$=$0.753791.