RICCI BACK IN BLACK, POSTING PROFIT OF $3.9 MILLION IN YEAR

Byline:

PARIS — Helped by the sale of its Lalique holdings, reorganization moves and a new fragrance, Nina Ricci moved into the black last year, scoring a profit of $8.9 million (46 million francs) at current exchange.
In 1993, the firm lost 34 million francs.
Consolidated sales in 1994 rose 12 percent to $233.4 million (1.2 billion francs).
Perfumes and cosmetics account for nearly 80 percent of turnover, while fashion goods, including couture, ready-to-wear and accessories, make up the remainder, according to Vladimir de Kousmine, Ricci’s managing director.
Ricci, in which France’s pharmaceutical and beauty giant Sanofi holds a 49.9 percent stake, was able to return to profitability last year, thanks in large part to the sale of its share in crystal maker Lalique to perfume flacon maker Pochet, de Kousmine said. The company has not disclosed the proceeds from this sale.
In addition, Ricci’s in-house reorganization, which included closing the company’s New York office and several nonprofitable stores in Japan, coupled with the successful launch of the Deci Dele fragrance in stores in Europe and Asia last October, contributed to the improved results.
De Kousmine said that sales of Deci Dela for the last four months of 1994 were $26.1 million (134 million francs). This helped overall perfume sales rise by about 20 percent last year. Deci Dela will most likely reach the U.S. market this fall, de Kousmine added.
Another positive factor was a strong performance in the Far East, where sales rose roughly 20 percent, de Kousmine said. Ricci has set up new offices in both Taiwan and Korea.