William P. Lauder, executive chairman; Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer; John Demsey, executive group president; Carl Haney, executive vice president, global research and development, corporate product innovation, package development; Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus; Ronald S. Lauder, chairman, Clinique Laboratories, LLC; Cedric Prouvé, group president, international; Chris Good, president, North America.
Prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products sold in more than 150 countries and territories under brand names including: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, M•A•C, Kiton, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Victoria Beckham Estée Lauder, Darphin, Tom Ford, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, Tory Burch, Rodin olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, GlamGlow, By Kilian, Becca and Too Faced.
Clinique Pep-Start, Clinique Fresh Pressed, Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup, Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert Serum, Too Faced Glitter Like You Mean It, M•A•C Personality Palettes/Power Hungry, Bobbi Brown Remedies Skin Wrinkle Treatment No 25- Smoothing, Plumping & Repair, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Outrageous Special Edition, Tom Ford Soleil Color Collection.
Much of this year’s increased revenues among our Top 20, came from Asia and developing markets and e-commerce—and nowhere is this truer than with The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), which specializes in the Prestige market. The cosmetics industry powerhouse announced annual revenues of $11.8 billion for the fiscal year ending in June, an increase of 5% over 2016. (Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, net sales increased 7%.) Sales of beauty products online were up 33% across the board, with the makeup category alone showing 7% growth to $5 billion.
Gains were all linked to the success of global e-commerce, especially in China, where all of the company’s 29 brands posted double-digit growth in online sales. Overall results include an impactful sales growth of 40% in China with e-commerce sales increasing by 50%. Online sales accounted for 20% of total company sales. China is ELC’s third largest online market, behind the U.S. and the U.K.
ELC’s 2016 Millennial-targeted purchases of Becca, known for its focus on complexion products for a wide range of skin tones, for $200 million in October 2016—and of the popular, cult brand, Too Faced, for approximately $1.45 billion in December—the company’s largest brand acquisition ever—have succeeded in boosting ELC’s bottom line.
In December, after 25 years with ELC, makeup artist Bobbi Brown left her namesake cosmetics brand.
Makeup led the ELC categories, accounting for $5 billion for the year. Skin Care reached $4.5 billion; Fragrance followed with $1.6 billion; Hair Care $539 million; and Other, $69 million.
Makeup sales increased, driven in large part by the fiscal 2017 acquisitions of Too Faced and Becca, with double-digit increases from Tom Ford, Smashbox, La Mer and Estée Lauder. Tom Ford Soleil Color Collection, La Mer’s SkinColor Collection and Estée Lauder’s Double Wear and Pure Color product lines all performed well. Sales of Clinique and M•A•C makeup in the U.S. declined slightly, due to slow foot traffic in some U.S. brick-and-mortar stores.
Strong double-digit gains from La Mer boosted net sales for Skincare. The Estée Lauder brand delivered solid sales growth, primarily in travel retail and China, due, in part, to Advanced Night Repair and Revitalizing Supreme. GlamGlow also showed good results, as did Bobbi Brown, Origins and Aveda. These increases were partially offset by lower skin care sales from Clinique.
In Fragrance, net sales increased, primarily due to strong double-digit gains from luxury brands Jo Malone London, Tom Ford and Le Labo, and incremental sales from the recent acquisition of By Kilian.
Hair Care sales decreased slightly from the previous year.
By Geographic Region
Net sales and operating income for ELC’s geographic regions were described as “unfavorably impacted by the strength of the U.S. dollar in relation to most currencies.”
Sales in The Americas were the strongest at $4.8 billion. Europe, the Middle East & Africa reported sales of $4.6 billion; and Asia/Pacific, $2.4 billion.
Most markets in Europe, the Middle East & Africa recorded sales growth, with many posting double-digit increases, led by Russia, Italy, the Balkans, Israel and India. In travel retail, ELC reported “exceptionally strong double-digit sales growth” across most brands.
As for Asia/Pacific, all markets recorded growth, except Hong Kong, and led by strong double-digit growth in China, where higher sales reflected strong double-digit gains in most brands. Estée Lauder, La Mer and M•A•C were major contributors.
2017 News of Note
Looking to expand its customer base, in March, MAC Cosmetics announced it would enter both ulta.com and a selection of Ulta Beauty stores by June.
In April, after a 40-year career at The Estée Lauder Companies, Thia Breen, group president, North America, announced her retirement; Chris Good, president, UK and Ireland, was named her successor in the role of president, North America.
In May, the company announced that Dominique Conseil, global brand president, Aveda, would retire; he is succeeded by Barbara De Laere, who has been named SVP, global general manager, Aveda.
In June, Lauder discontinued the Estée Edit line, especially geared toward Millennials and self-selection, and instead invested in the Victoria Beckham range.
ELC announced investment plans that would double Beckham’s makeup collection for the fall season. Packaging for the second time around was updated. The black, fluted leather on the original compacts will be pebbled leather going forward, and the Eye Foils, once in black, opaque packaging, are now in clear glass pots with gold caps to make the product visible. A new Skin Perfecting Powder, $85, will come in a luxe, blonde-gold textured compact, fashioned from the same hardware as Beckham’s handbags. The Victoria Beckham Lit Beauty Box: Noir, a $1,500 light box with removable lighted mirror and eight products, will be joined by a Victoria Beckham Collection Trousse de Maquillage: Noir Makeup Kit, a $700 leather case with six products.
Also in June, ELC announced that it had invested in a Canadian-based beauty company, DECIEM, known as “a fast-growing, vertically integrated multi-brand company, with its own laboratory, manufacturing, e-commerce sites, retail stores and marketing infrastructure. The company has launched 10 brands to date, including “international cult skincare favorite “The Ordinary.”