Sales up in third quarter for Inter Parfums although growth slows

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Quarter Perfume

Net sales for the third quarter of 2010 were up from last year helped by strong sales from flagship brands like Burberry, but US figures were damaged by inventory problems.

The New York-headquartered prestige perfume and cosmetics manufacturer does the majority of its sales in Europe, where performance held up during the third quarter.

European-based product sales accounted for $109.2m in the quarter compared to $104.0m in the same quarter last year, translating to a 5 percent sales increase.

New Burberry launch

While the European region did post growth for the third quarter this was significantly lower than the growth recorded for the first nine months of the year.

Inter Parfums CFO Russell Greenberg explained that the growth slowdown was related to the launch of a new family of fragrances under the Burberry name very early in 2010, along with some easier comparison figures.

“There are several factors in place. The comparisons earlier in the year were a lot easier as they were against a contraction in sales in the first quarter of 2009,”​ he told USA.

“In addition, the Burberry sport line, a new family under the Burberry license, was launched early in 2010 which helps explain the exceptional growth in the first and second quarter,”​ he added.

In addition to scents from the Burberry range, CEO Jean Madar noted the contribution of the Lanvin fragrances and new launches from the Van Cleef & Arpels range, such as Oriens for women and Midnight in Paris for men.

The recently launched Burberry Beauty makeup range also made ‘small contributions’, along with the Montblanc fragrance business, to the quarter’s results in Europe, Madar said.

“The Burberry makeup line is something extremely new, first launched during the third quarter 2010,”​ said Greenberg, adding that the launch was very exclusive taking in only 30 locations worldwide.

“We are looking to expand upon this in the future,”​ he said.

US sales dropped

However, sales in the US suffered during the third quarter, dropping 14 percent from $13.5m in 2009 to $11.7m in 2010.

According to Madar this was down to stock problems following a strong second quarter.

“Following the 71 per cent increase in second quarter sales, we experienced certain inventory shortfalls during the third quarter. As such, certain shipments that were planned for the third quarter are expected to ship in the fourth quarter,”​ he said.

This is likely to mean better comparison figures in the US for the fourth quarter in 2010.

Combined sales for Europe and the US showed growth of 2.8 percent, rising from $117.5m in the third quarter last year to $120.9m.

However, the company says these were significantly negatively affected by foreign currency exchange rates and estimates an increase of 12.9 percent at comparable rates.

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