The unaudited trading update for the three months ending 30 June 2017 showed that net sales were up 2.7% at constant rates, 4.1% at actual rates.
Sales were particularly strong online (web sell-out channels were up 27.3%) and in China, where sales grew 26.9%.
China, Brazil and Japan were among the best performing markets during the period, with local currency sales growing 26.9%, 13.7% and 4.0% respectively (23.9%, 28.1% and 3.4% growth at actual rates).
Mr. Reinold Geiger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L’Occitane, says: “We are pleased to report a solid start to FY2018, which was supported by good returns from our ongoing marketing activities, particularly in China and Japan.”
China: focus market
Sales at marketplaces in China grew a staggering 250% in the first quarter, according to L’Occitane, while same store sales saw growth of 14.7%
This was partly the impact of accelerated as the result of a successful brand ambassador campaign featuring Chinese singer Lu Han, the company says.
Brasil and Japan were also picked out as key focus markets.
“Sales in Brazil grew across the board, both within the Group’s sell-in and sell-out channels and at the L’Occitane en Provence and L’Occitane au Brésil brands,” the skin care player says.
“Sales in Japan continued to be supported by the Group’s own E-commerce channel and by a new LINE promotion campaign.”
Geiger predicts that the momentum will continue due to the new concepts ready to roll out, and investments planned.
“We hope that our new ‘Sunshine concept’ stores, which will open soon in strategic markets, will further support this momentum,” he says.
“We will also invest further in our new product pipeline, including the re-launch of the classic Devine range later this year and the introduction of an all-new hydration range in early 2018. This will enable us to appeal to new and existing customers and increase our visibility in the highly competitive marketplace.”