Latin Beat: Colgate to Invest in Argentina

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On the heels of posting its second-quarter results, Colgate-Palmolive announced that it will invest $1.65 million in toothpaste manufacturing in Argentina. The decision was announced during a meeting between Bradley Farr, vice president and general manager, Colgate-Southern Cone Latin America, and Argentina’s president, Néstor Kirchner. Argentina’s economy minister, Miguel Peirano, announced that “the investments represent an increase of 70% in the Argentinean production” and replace imports from Brazil.

According to Colgate’s second-quarter financials, published on July 25, Latin American sales grew 16% in the quarter (see Stock Watch on page 65), with every market in the region contributing to the strong volume gains.

Beiersdorf Cites Growth Potential in Latin America

Beiersdorf announced that its sales increased 9.2% in the first half of 2007, compared with the same period last year. In Latin America, sales were up 28.1%, driven by important growth in Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina. Nivea brand deodorant, skin care and bath products achieved the best sales growth in the region. Forecasting the second half of 2007, the company expects a moderate expansion in major Western European markets, and significant growth is expected to continue in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

“Beiersdorf has attractive growth opportunities through strong positioning in growth categories and huge potential in developing markets,” the German company stated in a press release.

International Campaign Lands in Argentina

Vichy Laboratory has created its first Healthy Skin Center in Buenos Aires, supported by the Asociación Argentina de Dermatología Pediátrica. According to Christian Schamee, marketing director, Vichy Laboratory, the main objective of the center is to make consumers aware of the importance of skin health, and provide them the chance to learn about the specific characteristics of their skin and its daily care needs. “This proposal is a part of the company’s worldwide campaign that has already extended to 30 countries, four continents [and attracted] almost one million attendants,” Schamee told GCI magazine. During the opening week, dermatologists and pharmaceutical professionals provided free skin diagnosis and preventive conferences, and the company donated a product to Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez’s Children’s Hospital for every 10 people in attendance.

Capilatis Eyes Broader Market

Argentine beauty company Capilatis, founded in 1984, is looking to expand into additional markets. Luis Cavallo, the company’s executive director, told GCI magazine that the company expects 25% of its annual turnover in 2008 to come from export markets, compared to the current 15%. Capilatis has already launched products in small and unusual markets such as Dubai and Benin, Africa. In order to consolidate this strategy and support efforts in its Argentine headquarters, the company has opened a branch in Chile and built representative relationships in the U.S., Uruguay, Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay. Capilatis’ portfolio is 80% hair care; the other 20% is a body care line. The products are defined as “premium,” and are distributed in pharmacies, perfumeries and supermarkets.

Biotherm Reports Growing Argentine Men’s Market

In August, Biotherm, a brand in the L’Oréal luxury product division, held a press conference in Buenos Aires to inform gathered press how the selective cosmetics sector for men is progressing in Argentina. According to Marcela Pittaluga, marketing manager, Biotherm, and Valentín Gonzalez, director, luxury products, L’Oréal Argentina, Biotherm’s line of products targeted at women was up 20.6% in the first half of 2007 over the same period in 2006, while the men’s line grew 51.1% in the same period. The results of an Argentine online survey on men’s skin care habits showed that one in two men, average age 41, take care of their skin regularly.
In addition, answers indicated that Biotherm is one of the three best known brands in the local market—along with Gillette and Nivea— and that men are increasing their use of creams generally associated with women’s care regimens.

The data showed that 41% of the survey group would use abdominal firming creams, 39% would use eyes creams and 37% would use antiaging creams.

Business and Social Development in Peru

Naturex, a French manufacturer of plant extracts for the flavor and nutraceutical industries, launched a plan to improve the economic and social conditions of Peruvian maca plant growers. Currently, the company has increased the purchasing price paid to growers of the plant, and, in accordance with its plan, the company will grant free patent licenses to l00% Peruvian-owned companies to manufacture maca extract for sale to consumers. The move is in accordance with the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity and with those set through the company’s Naturex Foundation—which donates toward social development, and supports education, medicine and basic necessities for communities in which the company conducts business, including Peru.

New Brand Fortifies Position in Argentina, Looks Abroad

Jackie Condomí, an Argentine brand launched in 2006, is betting on foreign markets, and is negotiating with a California spa to introduce its lines of face and body products to the U.S. Currently distributed in 150 doors in Argentina—in pharmacies and perfumeries in the Buenos Aires and Cordoba provinces and in a stand-alone shop in Buenos Aires—the products were initially tested in a spa on the outskirts of Buenos Aires at price points from $10–$21. Alejandra Condomí Alcorta, the company’s director, told GCI magazine that the company strove to develop products for every type of skin and distinguish each line and their properties through the use of distinctive colors in the packaging.

P&G Announces New GM

Procter & Gamble Argentina named Gerardo Ríos general manager for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Previously, Ríos was the general manager of the feminine care and deodorants business for America Latina. Ríos replaced Alberto Carvalho, who was promoted to global manager of disposable razors and systems of shaving business, based in Boston.

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