L’Occitane International S.A. announced its unaudited trading update for the nine month period ended December 31, 2012. Net sales for the nine months increased 17.6% to €801.3 million as compared to the same period last year. Excluding foreign currency translation effects, local currency growth was 12.2%. Overall, the company maintained solid sales growth amid the challenging economic environment and in key emerging markets; China and Russia continue to outperform.
In the context of the global market uncertainty, L’Occitane was able to sustain sales growth, primarily driven by Hong Kong, the U.S., Russia and China. Excluding foreign currency translation effects, Russia and China were the best-performing markets in net sales growth, reaching 33.4% and 26.8% respectively. As the company’s largest market in terms of net sales, Japan showed improvement with 1.5% net sales growth for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2012, as compared to 1.3% for the six-month period ended September 30, 2012.
In terms of same store sales growth, China, Russia, the U.S., the U.K. and France demonstrated strong performances at 13.7%, 12.4%, 9.4%, 7.4% and 6.7%, respectively, for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2012. Same store sales growth in Hong Kong maintained solid growth at 6%. Excluding renovations and cannibalization effects, the same store sales growth in Hong Kong for the period was 18.9%.
During the nine-month period ended December 31, 2012, L’Occitane continued its global retail expansion strategy and important store renovation program. During the nine months, the company increased the total number of own retail stores to 1,193, with 130 net store openings over the nine month period, excluding the addition of 10 stores from the acquisition of the company’s distributor in Ireland. Furthermore, L’Occitane accelerated its store renovation program to renovate or relocate 55 stores.
Reinold Geiger, hairman and CEO of L’Occitane, said, “The solid performance maintained amidst the backdrop of the growing global market uncertainty during the nine-month period ended December 31, 2012 illustrates the resilience of our business model and our own retail and e-commerce expansion strategy. In particular, our online retail sales showed strong momentum with 32% year-on-year growth during our third quarter, highlighting the synergy of this channel with our own retail. The company plans to continue expanding its online sales efforts and will continue investments in the social and digital media to further enhance our prospects.”
“Looking ahead, the company will continue its investments, especially in the digital channel to further strengthen our business platform for future growth, so as to create lasting returns for our shareholders,” Geiger concluded.