Italian cosmetics sales saved thanks to exports

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Italian cosmetics sales saved thanks to exports

Related tags Skin care Cosmetics Italy

According to recently released figures from Cosmetica Italia, as the domestic market in Italy continues to decline, the country still stands to profit from cosmetic exports.

The trade association reports the recession of the Italian personal care market to have continued in 2013 to EUR 9,500 million, a decline of 1.2% compared to 2012.

Although this figure remains modest in comparison to what the country has been facing since 2007, consumer spending has been heavily impacted both in terms of essential and non-essential items including that of cosmetics.

However, some channels are less sensitive to the economic context and are continuing to bring in profits. Sales in pharmacies for example rose by +0.3% and only the direct sales channel like doorstep or mail order sales saw a significant increase of 4.4%. 

Thanks to sales in foreign markets, Italian companies rose by +2.6% to reach 9.3 billion euros in 2013, up 11% from 2012. Meanwhile, imports increased by +0.8%.

According to Cosmetica Italia; “Continuous investment policies in innovation and development have enabled Italian companies to gain competitive advantage in international markets, where there is a significant increase in sales, including in volume, indicating a competitive and reliable offer."

France remains the largest cosmetics customer and the leading provider of Italy, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain and Russia.

Italian cosmetics segment trying to make a comeback

According to fellow market researcher Canadean, despite the Italian skin care segment being expected to face a small decline in value growth up to 2017, skin product sales will nevertheless be slightly more positive in volume.

The analyst says skin care will continue to remain the largest sector in the health and beauty industry in Italy up to 2017, however, it is forecasted to rank only eighth for growth amongst the nine other categories in the sector studied during that period.

Slow economic recovery and reduced consumer spending is therefore expected to put pressure on value growth for all major categories in the sector.

With skin care products, the decline is likely to be minimal at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of -0.1% and growth by volume is expected to be slightly positive, forecasted at a CAGR of 0.6% for the same time period.

Canadean says the rest of the segment is split between body care, make-up remover and hand care, with the latter forecast to witness stagnant value growth and a small volume CAGR of 0.7% up to 2017.

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