China star performer for L’Occitane International

With 26.9 per cent growth in sales, China led the charge for wellbeing company L’Occitane International for the three months to the end of June.

China had same-store sales growth of 14.7 per cent, with “staggering” 250 per cent first-quarter growth for marketplaces, says the company. A marketing campaign with Chinese artist Lu Han launched in May drew traffic online and offline.

In Japan, sales growth remained healthy at 4 per cent in local currency, with same-store sales growth of 2.4 per cent. The company’s e-commerce channel performed well, helped by new Line promotion campaigns and “encouraging” growth by emerging brand Melvita.

Travel-retail and distribution channels were the main props for Hong Kong’s sales growth of 2.9 per cent.

Overall group net sales grew to €279.5 million (US$325.7 million) by 4.1 per cent at reported rates and 2.7 per cent at constant rates, both rates an improvement from the financial year ended March 31.

Web sell-out channels (own e-commerce and marketplaces) delivered “encouraging” growth of 27.3 per cent to reach 13.2 per cent of total sell-out sales.

During the first quarter, sell-out sales accounted for 73.8 per cent of net sales, amounting to €206.4 million. This was growth of 3 per cent at reported rates or 1.5 per cent at constant rates. Major growth drivers were new and renovated stores, marketplaces, and its cafe and spa businesses.

Same-store sales for the period eased by 0.6 per cent, an improvement from the 1.3 per cent drop for the same period last year, thanks to double-digit same-store growth in China.

Sell-in sales at €73.2 million accounted for 26.2 per cent of total sales, an increase of 6.2 per cent at constant exchange rates. The company says this was primarily driven by dynamic growth in distribution, travel retail, B2B and web-partner channels of the L’Occitane brand. Emerging brands also drove overall sales growth.

The group maintained its selective global retail expansion with four store openings during the quarter, compared with 23 for the same period last year. Twenty stores were refurbished (13 during the same period last year).

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