The group's experiences are partly reflected in the 2004 first half figures showing 63 per cent growth in operating income from $10.4 million (€8.4m) in the first half of 2003 to $17m in 2004.
Interim sales shot up 33 per cent to $105 million partly driven by expansive initiatives. These include the incorporation of up-market brands into the group's portfolio of personal care products, mainly fragrances. Latest additions include two strong brands, Lanvin and Nickel. The latter specialises in male personal care services. Plans to launch Burberry Brit for men are at an advanced stage.
The emphasis on men comes on the back of growing consumption in personal care products by men. Rising income levels of consumers in major markets of western Europe, North America and Asia has created 'Metrosexuals', men who want to spend significant amounts of money on their looks.
Nickel is favourably poised for this booming market, perhaps the reason why Inter Parfum's increased its stake in this premium personal care product supplier to 74 per cent.
To complement its range of male skin care products Nickel has developed male exclusive spas located in Paris, New York and San Francisco.
The Nickel range of skin care products is distributed through department and specialty stores primarily in France through 500 outlets and then in 900 outlets spread through Western Europe and 300 in the US. Nickel is expected to raise its sales by 50 per cent to €5 million in 2004.
Inter Parfums secured a 15 years licence to develop and distribute a line of fragrances under the Lanvin brand. Lanvin has also a strong male fragrance brand.
The Lanvin agreement was accompanied by a €16 million up front licence fee and €6 million for the purchase of current Lanvin inventory. The Lanvin fragrance line goes back to 1920 and has grown to command a premium image with established distribution networks mainly in Western Europe and Asia.
All this is a natural progression from the base established in the 1990's when Inter Parfums decided to dilute its mass-market perfumes' focus. The group adopted a few up market brand names. These included a licence to produce fragrances under the British brand name Burberry. The Burberry product range has since expanded to natural sprays, baths perfume, shower gel, and lotion and baby products.
"As we have reported before, Burberry fragrances continued to produce strong growth (up56%), driven by the excellent performance of the Burberry London and Burberry Week end lines," says Inter Parfums chiairman and CEO, Jean Madar.
Further gains are expected from the Burberry Touch line and the success of the Burberry Brit for women collection launched in 2003, says Madar."We look forward to the launch this fall of the Burberry Brit for men line in selected markets," he says.
Inter Parfums list of licence contracts has been further enriched over the past few years by the inclusion of brands like S.T Dupont, Paul Smith, Christian Lacroix and Celine.