L’Occitane International S.A., an international group that manufactures and retails beauty and well-being products that are rich in natural and organic ingredients, announced the unaudited quarterly update for the three months ended 30th June 2020.
Retail sales were heavily impacted by lockdowns and store closures as the COVID-19 pandemic continued in Europe and the Americas. Net sales in the quarter ended 30th June 2020 were US$2 billion, a decline of 22.2% at both constant rates and reported rates compared to the same quarter of last year.
Restrictive measures around the world to contain COVID-19 paralysed traffic and business activities during FY2021 Q1. However, the Group’s online channels continued to outperform in all markets.
The group’s online channels (including own e-commerce, marketplaces, digital direct selling and web partner channels) grew by 95.8% and accounted for 52.6% of total net sales in FY2021 Q1 (FY2020 Q1: 20.9%).
Several of the group’s brands, with the exception of LimeLife and ELEMIS, were heavily impacted by travel bans and lockdowns, posting sales declines of around 25% to 35% in FY2021 Q1. LimeLife, however, posted strong growth of 51.6% at constant exchange rates, thanks to its resilient online-only business model, as well as successful new products launches, a flash sale and initiatives to recruit beauty guides in FY2021 Q1.
ELEMIS reported a sales decrease of 28.8% at constant exchange rates. However, on a like-for-like basis, sales at ELEMIS declined 4.0% in FY2021 Q1.1
In terms of geographic areas, sales in Japan, Europe and the Americas were most impacted by store closures and lockdowns. In other parts of Asia, on the contrary, sales bounced back rapidly after the COVID-19 situation eased in FY2021 Q1. China, Korea and Taiwan posted encouraging growth rates of 24.9%, 27.4% and 11.5% respectively. China surpassed Japan as the Group’s second largest market and L’OCCITANE en Provence’s largest market.
Mr. Reinold Geiger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L’Occitane, said, “Despite the difficult circumstances in the first quarter, there were several bright spots. The extraordinary growth in our online channels has gone a long way to cushion the impact that COVID-19 is having on our physical channels. The relative strength of our online channels is also reflected in the performance of LimeLife, which performed particularly well over the quarter. The like-for-like decline in ELEMIS sales was also nuanced, which bodes well for the brand’s recent launch in China.”
“Meanwhile, there is a clear geographical separation in the performance of our business with markets in Asia recovering strongly. Although it is still too early to say whether this recovery will be emulated in Europe and the Americas as economies reopen, it is very encouraging to see the UK deliver 7.8% same store sales growth in FY2021 Q1. By prioritising an omni-channel approach and targeting investments on key markets and campaigns, we are well-positioned to emerge even stronger following the crisis,” continued Mr. Reinold Geiger.