Byline: Brid Costello

PARIS — Groupe Clarins reported Friday that its third-quarter net sales hit $181.9 million, a 4.8 percent increase at average exchange rates.
Excluding currency fluctuation and non-comparable operations, sales were 5.1 percent ahead. Dollar figures are converted from the euro at current exchange. Like other French firms, the group reports sales quarterly but profits semiannually.
The firm said in a statement that while it is too early to assess the affects of terrorism on consumption, “in the fourth quarter, the global luxury cosmetics market offers very limited visibility. As a result, the Group is no longer in a position to affirm that it will meet its objectives for the full year. Nevertheless, all the necessary steps are taken to offset the negative impact of the current crisis.”
Like many beauty firms, Clarins is wary of the future in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. “The tragic events of Sept. 11, severely affected sales for [September], especially in the United States and in tourist-driven markets,” it said.
The group’s net sales for the first nine months of 2001 were up 6.4 percent at current exchange rates, to $565.22 million, over the comparable 2001 period. At constant group structure and current exchange, volume would have been up 5.6 percent.
Through Aug. 30, the company’s consolidated sales were up 8.3 percent over the same period in 2000. “This growth rate was higher than for the 2001 first half, confirming the rapid recovery of momentum in the wake of the logistics problems, which marred the Group’s first-quarter performance,” it explained.
For the nine months, broken down by brand, Clarins’s sales were up 5 percent to $351.96 million; Thierry Mugler was up 7.8 percent to $99.37 million; Azzaro was up 8.1 percent to $58.96 million, and the group’s fragrance distribution business was up 11.5 percent to $54.95 million. Percentages have been calculated at average exchange rates.