Tonymoly China launch marks giant’s next global leap

South Korean cosmetic maker Tonymoly says it will expand its investment in China after a market debut next month, to tap deeper into the fast-growing beauty market.

Tonymoly, Korea’s seventh-largest cosmetic brand by 2014 sales, has posted double-digit growth since its establishment in 2006 and has about 1800 shops in 20 nations, including Hong Kong, the US and Russia.

Buoyed by robust sales, Tonymoly China is preparing for its debut on July 10, pledging to expand investment in China riding the ‘K-beauty boom’.

“China has a big growth potential. We will maximise the growth potential by directly entering the Chinese market, which has become the company’s second domestic market,” CFO Hong Hyun-ki said in a briefing.

“We will build factories in China to produce a variety of cosmetic brands and open brand shops across the nation using the fund from the public offering.”

Tonymoly logged 305.2 billion won (US$275.4 million) in sales last year, with 11.4 per cent coming from duty free shops and stores in Myeongdong, which heavily rely on Chinese consumers.

Tonymoly has offered to sell its stocks between 26,400 won and 30,200 won per share, which would raise between 77.6 billion won and 88.8 billion.

A growing number of Korean cosmetic firms are eyeing the global market as the domestic market has become saturated and growth has been slowed due to fierce competition and rising marketing costs.

While local firms find it harder to enter European and American markets, they have gained huge popularity among Chinese consumers who love K-pop stars and are eager to mimic their styles.

China’s cosmetics market is the world’s third-biggest market worth $26 billion a year, global market researcher Euromonitor said, expecting it will grow eight per cent each year from now to 2017.

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