CLARINS’ 2001 NET DECLINES

PARIS — Fallout from the events of Sept. 11, investments in marketing and logistics and less favorable exchange rates combined to pressure Groupe Clarins’ net profits down 41.6 percent in 2001.
Net income fell to $33.9 million, or $1.43 a share. Operating profits declined 25.1 percent, to $70.9 million. Dollar figures are converted from the euro at current exchange.
Clarins said in a statement Thursday that last year’s results were negatively affected by the transfer of operations to a new logistics center in France “and by the economic downturn in the U.S., which was exacerbated by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“In that environment, even though sales remained satisfactory, group margins are below the high level of 2000, which was attributable not only to a surge in sales, but also to favorable foreign exchange rates against the euro,” the company said, adding that margin erosion was compounded by the weight of its U.S. operation, which accounts for 22.6 percent of group sales, and the collapse of the travel-retail business.
As reported, Clarins posted consolidated sales of $767.8 million, up 4.6 percent, for the year.
The company pointed out that, “despite lower-than-expected sales, the group maintained its investments in marketing activities, preferring to stay on course for its long-term development. The resolution of the logistical problems, a more ambitious marketing plan and the possibility of an upturn in consumption should help pave the way for a recovery in 2002.”
In Thursday trading on the Paris Bourse, shares of Clarins closed down 5.3 percent at $60.

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