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NPD: Global Prestige Beauty Ends 2012 With Mixed Results

Posted: March 6, 2013

The global prestige beauty industry ended 2012 with mixed results, according to a report by The NPD Group, which showed that fragrance sales based on dollar volume fell in France, Italy and Spain, but grew in the U.S. and the U.K. 

“In fragrance, eau de parfums are outperforming in most geographies thanks to the strength of ‘couture’ designer brands," said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group.

By country, fragrance sales fell 1% in France, 3% in Italy and 6% in Spain, particularly pressured by challenging economic conditions. However, U.S. fragrance sales jumped 5% while U.K. fragrance sales rose 3%.

As announced earlier this year, the U.S. prestige beauty industry as a whole, which covers mainly products sold in U.S. department stores, grew 7% in dollar sales in 2012, generating $10.2 billion in sales, compared to a 11% increase in 2011.

Annual 2012 growth in the U.S. was driven primarily by skin care, which amounted to $3.4 billion. Makeup had the second highest gains generating $3.8 billion in sales, followed by fragrance at $2.9 billion. Premium-priced products in all U.S. beauty categories prevailed in the dollars gained in 2012.

The prestige beauty industry in the U.K. generated $3.4 billion in sales, up 5% from a year ago. France generated sales of $3.5 billion, which was down 1% from a year ago, Italy was at $2.2. billion, down 4%, and Spain generated $1.6 billion, down 7% from a year earlier.

In Europe, fragrances were down 1% overall, comprised of juices, ancillaries, and gift sets.