L’Occitane’s fiscal 2021 global net sales flatlined to 1.53 billion euros (AUD$2.41 billion). But even though 75 per cent of its stores worldwide were shuttered during the Covid-19 pandemic, the prestige beauty multinational delivered its highest-ever net profit of US$187 million (AUD$248.7 million) – up 36.3 per cent.

Online sales soared 69.2 per cent in the financial year to March, representing more than 33 per cent of the group’s total worldwide sales.

Social selling strategies in Asia prompted major upticks in sales in Taiwan, South Korea and China. Revenues in China surged 36 per cent over the period, confirming its status as L’Occitane’s biggest and best-performing market.

L’Occitane also debuted 68 social selling initiatives in Europe and launched a pilot client program in the US.

In addition to its hero brand – L’Occitane en Provence – the multinational’s stable of brands includes prestige skincare player, Elemis, LimeLife, the US colour cosmetics brand, Melvita and Erborian. LimeLife with its e-commerce only and social media-focused business model was the group’s fastest-growing brand in FY2021 at 25.7 per cent.

Earlier this year, Elemis debuted in China in an exclusive partnership with Sephora, rolling out in all of the beauty chain’s 269 Chinese stores. The brand also launched e-commerce websites in key markets, including France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand.

According to Reinold Geiger, Chairman and CEO of L’Occitane – “While the impacts of Covid-19 may still linger, we expect online sales in high-growth Asian markets to remain robust. With the inherent strength of our brands, the determination and focus of our management team, as well as our targeted investments, we believe we have laid a strong foundation to accelerate growth and expand profitability further in the coming years.”

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