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L’Occitane International S.A. announced the unaudited consolidated interim results for the six months ended Sept. 30, 2012. Despite a challenging global economic environment, most countries delivered strong growth in local currency, and the company improved the operating profit margin in the first half of FY2013.
For the six months ended Sept. 30, 2012, net sales were €449.2 million and increased by 21.9% as compared to the period ended Sept. 30, 2011, reflecting net sales growth in all of L’Occitane’s business segments and geographical areas. Excluding foreign currency translation effects, net sales growth was 13.5%. Russia and China were the best-performing markets in net sales growth, reaching 35% and 22.7% in local currency, respectively. Developed markets such as Hong Kong, the U.K. and the U.S. also continued to contribute and maintained solid growth, with strong double-digit net sales growth at 18.7%, 20.5% and 16.9% in local currency, respectively.
In terms of profitability, the operating profit for the period increased by 27.9% to €41.9 million and the operating margin was 9.3%. The profit for the period increased by 15.8% to €34.5 million and net profit margin was 7.7%. The profit growth was mainly attributable to the sustained net sales growth and the increased overall operating profit margin, due to the exchange rates effects and leverage of our existing structures.
L’Occitane also increased the total number of retail locations where its products are sold by from 2,082 as at March 31, 2012, to 2,218 as at Sept. 30, 2012. The number of its own retail stores increased from 1,053 to 1,120, and the net increase of 67 L’Occitane and Melvita stores included 25 additional stores in Asia, 32 in Europe and 10 in the Americas.
Reinold Geiger, chairman and CEO of L’Occitane, said, “The company has demonstrated strong resilience in the current challenging market environment. Apart from our global retail expansion strategy for new store openings and important store renovations, we will continue our investments to further strengthen our business platform for future growth. The digital online channel remains a key area of focus and growth driver for the company. Increased spending has been allocated to this channel to enhance our Internet presence, and we are seeing strong developments in our e-commerce business.
“In the second half of the year, the company will continue to grow, expand and explore strategic acquisition opportunities to further enhance its current leading position in the industry. We remain committed to our vision and will continue to invest and take advantage of potential business opportunities which will create lasting value for our shareholders,” Geiger concluded.