Financial focus: Shiseido, Estée Lauder and more feature in our latest beauty business and finance update

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

A round-up of financial results, M&As and funding drives in the cosmetics industry. [Getty Images]
A round-up of financial results, M&As and funding drives in the cosmetics industry. [Getty Images]

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Shiseido, Estée Lauder, LG Household & Health Care and more in this round-up of financial results, M&As and funding drives in the cosmetics industry.

1 – Global ambitions: Forest Essential sets its sights on US, SEA and Middle East after UK launch

India’s Forest Essentials believes its launch with UK beauty e-tailer lookfantastic will help it to boost its international appeal as prepares to expand its footprint​ to the Middle East, South East Asia and the US in the next few years.

Forest Essentials is a luxury Ayurveda beauty brand based in India. Since its inception in 2001, the brand is now shipping its products to over 120 countries globally from its own website.

Domestically, the brand is also available on top e-commerce platforms such as Nykaa, Amazon India, Purplle, and Myntra. It also owns and operates 100 boutiques and is expected to open five more doors by the end of this year.

On October 20, the company announced that that it launched in the UK with lookfantastic an online beauty retailer owned by The Hut Group. This marked the brand’s first launch with an international retailer.

2 – Shiseido Q3 2021: Operating profit surges by over 190% as sales improve in all regions except Japan

Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido has recorded a 194.8% surge in operating profits as sales grew in all regions except for its home market thanks to its skin beauty and prestige brands​, as well as the strength of its e-commerce business.

The company reported that the first nine months were challenged by low consumer sentiment due to “worsening corporate earnings and employment” brought about by the resurgence of COVID-19.

While the impact of the pandemic was felt globally, the progress of the vaccination drive saw improvement in all categories, including make-up.

Under these conditions, sales grew 13.4% on a like-for-like basis to JPY745.4bn (U$6.6bn). Operating profit surged 194.8% year on year to JPY26.3bn (U$232m) due to stronger sales and effective cost management.

3 – Estée Lauder Q1: APAC sales grow 10% despite impact of COVID-19 resurgence

The Estée Lauder Companies recorded organic net sales growth of 10%​ in Asia Pacific despite the wave of COVID-triggered lockdowns that hit the region, driven by the strong performance of China and South Korea.

The region overall experienced higher levels of lockdowns in this quarter due to the rise of the Delta variant.

In China, sales growth was also curtailed in China in July and August due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Additionally, online sales growth slowed following the 6.18 shopping festival and in anticipation of 11.11.

 During this time, Hainan traffic was also impacted, hitting the travel retail sector. However, once restrictions were lifted, sales picked up “almost immediately,” said Tracey Travis, executive VP and CFO.

4 – A ‘difficult’ Q3: LG H&H’s latest sales dip a consequence of ‘intensified logistics crisis’

South Korean conglomerate LG Household & Health Care has reported a 2.9% dip in sales triggered by the logistics crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic​.

The company said it had been hit by various adverse factors such as the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, global supply chain shocks, and price hikes of major raw materials “made 3Q very difficult”.

In particular, the company said sales decline slightly due to “loss of sales opportunities from the intensified logistics crisis” ahead of mega shopping events in November, Singles’ Day and Black Friday.

However, the performance of luxury cosmetics and premium products saw improved profitability. Operating profit increased 4.5% year on year (YoY).

5 – ‘The time is now’: Strong demand for luxury beauty pushing escentials to ramp up SEA expansion despite ‘difficult times’

The encouraging prospect of luxury beauty in South East Asia is pushing retailer escentials to embark on a regional expansion despite the impact of COVID-19.

Owned by Singapore-based distributor LUXASIA, escentials claimed to be the only multi-label luxury and niche beauty omni-retail concept in SEA.

The retailer offered some of the most coveted luxury labels in beauty, including Penhaligon's, Bjork & Berries, By Terry, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Acqua di Parma, Bvlgari, Van Cleef & Arpels and more.

After more than 15 years and three stores in Singapore, the company was starting to grow its regional footprint beginning with the launch of a retail store and an online shopping platform in Malaysia.

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