HONG KONG – French beauty company L'Occitane International reported unaudited first-half sales declined 0.6 percent year-over-year, dampened by business in the U.S., U.K. and Japan.The company, which did not disclose profit figures, said net sales in the six months ended Sept. 30 were 548.2 million euros. Revenues in the U.S. and U.K. declined 11.1 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively. Japan, the group's largest single market, posted a 4.8 percent decrease.Emerging markets China and Brazil made up for some of the weakness, though. L'Occitane in China, its third largest market, saw a 18.2 percent surge in sales, continuing on from a strong first quarter. The company said it was "thanks to the retail market recovery and successful brand ambassador campaign, which drove traffic both on- and offline. In particular, sales on the Tmall platform grew at a triple-digit rate."L'Occitane tapping Luhan to be the face of its products in China registered an immediate effect, especially on online sales. In the first quarter, after the campaign ran, the group's Tmall sales were up 250 percent."Through targeted and well-paced marketing campaigns, we look forward to continuing this momentum," Reinold Geiger, chairman and chief executive officer of L’Occitane, said in a statement on Tuesday.In the first half, the group opened five stores and renovated 78 others worldwide. The company's stock is traded in Hong Kong.
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