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Boots beauty products prove a big hit in the US

By Simon Pitman , 19-May-2006

British cosmetic and healthcare retailer Boots says that it has had a positive feedback to retail tests carried out on a range of its own brand beauty and cosmetics products in the US.

The news was confirmed by Boots chief executive Richard Baker, who said that feedback on sales of the company's own brand products in a selected 150 stores belonging to both the CVS drugstore chain and the Target discount chain, had proved to be 'very encouraging'.

The company has been selling its Botanics, N0 7, Time Delay and Mediterranean skin care and beauty product lines on branded aisles within the stores' premises.

According to reports Manhattan shoppers have really taken to the Boots brands, revering them for their high quality and good value.

"The feedback from these tests has proved that the products are extremely popular with American consumers and we are now in talks with both retailers to stock a range of our own beauty and cosmetic products on a nationwide basis", said Clare Stafford, Boots spokesperson.

The group confirmed the news about the US retail tests as it revealed that profits in the full year ending March 31 had dropped nearly 10 per cent to reach £410m, on revenue of £4.73bn,which was up 1.7 per cent.

The group said that its profits were mainly hit by the company's £100m investment programme to update its current stores, open a series of new stores and modernise its IT system.

Further to the investment, Baker is also planning to pin future growth on the company's still burgeoning beauty business. The company reported that sales for its beauty and toiletries business grew by 2.4 per cent for the financial year to reach £2.1bn.

However, breaking this figure down, Beauty sales streaked ahead to record revenue growth of 7.9 per cent, mainly due to the successful launch of a series of new own brands.

Breaking the beauty figures down still further, revenue was up 8.4 per cent, which included a 9.7 per cent increase in premium brands aided by a good performance by No7, up 13.0 per cent in the twelve months following its re-launch, and 17, also up 13.0 per cent since its re-launch.

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