L’Occitane International S.A., which purchased a majority stake in Korean skin care brand Erborian in July 2012, announced the unaudited trading update for its six months ended September 30, 2012. Net sales for the six months increased 21.9% to €449.2 million as compared to the same period last year. Excluding foreign currency translation effects, local currency growth was 13.5%.
Despite a challenging global economic environment, most countries were able to accelerate sales growth. Excluding foreign currency translation effects, Russia and China were the best-performing markets in net sales growth, reaching 35% and22.7%, respectively. Developed markets like Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the Unites States also continue to contribute and maintain solid growth, with net sales growth at 18.7%, 20.5% and 16.9% respectively.
In terms of same store sales growth, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom demonstrated robust growth at 13.8%, 11.7% and 9.7%, respectively. Same store sales growth in Hong Kong and China was maintained at 7% and 6.8%, respectively, and the overall same store sales growth in the second quarter was 4.7%, compared to 0.8% in the first quarter.
The global retail expansion strategy enabled L’Occitane to further strengthen its position in the business, which benefited from favorable exchange rates. The company also continues to expand with new openings and important renovations in various markets globally. For the six months ended September 30, 2012, the company increased the total number of own retail stores to 1,120, and the group’s net own stores openings were 57 over the six months ended September 30, 2012, excluding the addition of 10 stores from the acquisition of the company’s distributor in Ireland.
Reinold Geiger, chairman and CEO of L’Occitane, said, “The performance achieved by the company in the first half of FY2013 demonstrates the resilience of our business model and highlights our track record of sustainable growth. Amidst the challenging global economic environment, the company delivered sales growth with a combination of improving same store sales growth and higher sales in non-comparable stores. Looking forward, we remain committed to our vision and will continue to invest and take advantage of potential business opportunities which will create lasting value to our shareholders.”