Although sales for Elizabeth Arden branded fragrances have been growing of late, many of its older celebrity fragrances have seen a decline in sales, in line with the general consumer trend away from this type of fragrance.
“With George’s appointment, the leadership transformation to a brand led structure within Elizabeth Arden is now complete, and our collective focus is on revenue acceleration and margin expansion,” said E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Arden.
Experience at Illuminage and Coty
Cleary has over 20 years of experience in the cosmetics and personal care industry, having most recently held the position of CEO at Illuminage, a leading beauty device player.
Prior to that he worked closer to the luxury fragrance segment during his time at Coty, where he held the position of president of the Americas region, a position that gave him responsibility across multiple beauty categories and channels.
“The Company’s impressive fragrance portfolio has tremendous untapped potential to build market share in existing markets as well as expand into the larger global beauty market,” said Clearly, giving an idea of where he wants to take the fragrance business in the future.
In the press statement, Clearly also added his belief that the company’s fragrance division has the potential for strong growth in these areas over the course of the next several years.
Sales hit by currency exchange and a flat US market
Elizabeth Arden has been hard hit by the double whammy of negative currency translations and a poor performance in the mainstay US market over the course of the last year.
Last month the company announced its second quarter results, which marked the fourth consecutive quarter of posting constant currency revenue growth for the Elizabeth Arden brand and international sales, but negative currency translations on international revenues more than counterbalanced that achievement for the current quarter.
Net sales were down by 5.4% at $316.2m, which reflected a decrease of 1% at constant current sales for the entire group.
Elizabeth Arden fragrances going strong
Sales of non-Elizabeth Arden fragrance fell by 4%, in contrast to the company's own brand fragrances growing by 7%, driven by John Varvatos and Juicy Couture, but offset by slower celebrity fragrance sales.
The revenues reflected a sharp contrast between its North America and International sales, with net sales across the globe increasing by 5.4% and sales in North American falling by 5.1%.
Falling North American sales and negative currency translations also affected the bottom line, with the company registering a net loss of $5.6m during the quarter, although this was a significant improvement on the loss of $56.6m registered in the corresponding period last year.
A large part of the company’s drive in recent years has been to focus on the Elizabeth Arden brand, which the company said is continuing to pay dividends as sales for the brand grew by 3% in the quarter, driven by both fragrance and skin care.