Financial focus: Most-read stories on business and financial news in the beauty industry

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

We highlight news of Kao’s travel retail expansion, Liht Organic’s royal partnership, MyGlamm’s Series C funding and more. [Getty Images]
We highlight news of Kao’s travel retail expansion, Liht Organic’s royal partnership, MyGlamm’s Series C funding and more. [Getty Images]

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In this round-up of financial results, M&As and funding drives in the cosmetics industry, we highlight news of Kao’s travel retail expansion, Liht Organic’s royal partnership, MyGlamm’s Series C funding and more.

1 – Full-scale expansion: Why Kao is pinning its hopes on travel retail in China despite global tourism woes

Kao has unveiled plans for a full-scale entry into China’s travel retail space – at both airports and downtown stores – on the back of booming offshore duty-free sales​ in the past year thanks to government efforts to boost domestic tourism.

Unsurprisingly, its first foray will be via Hainan Island, where the government last year increased the duty-free allowance for domestic travellers to 100,000RMB (US$15,000), up from 30,000RMB.

The move comes as Kao’s cosmetics business, which comprises of brands such as Kanebo, Freeplus, Curél and Molton Brown, suffered due to a significant decline in inbound demand and the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

Despite this, the company believes the cosmetics division will remain vital to the company growth, said CEO Yoshihiro Hasebe during the company’s FY2020 earnings conference. “I firmly believe that cosmetics will continue to be a growth driver for sales and profits.”

2 – Regal deal: Royal partnership brings Singapore’s Liht Organics closer towards goal of becoming a billion-dollar brand

Singapore-based Liht Organics has struck a royal partnership that it believes will help accelerate​ plans to reach its goal of becoming a billion-dollar brand in five years.

The organic make-up company recently established a strategic partnership with the Royal Family of Bahrain.

With the partnership, the brand will be able to market its products with its royal stamp of approval and the endorsement of Her Excellency Sheikha Emanuela Al Khalifa. This opens doors to expansion opportunities for the brand in the Middle East, through the private office of H.E. Sheik Adulaziz bin Duaij Khalifa al Khalifa.

Furthermore, founder and CEO Nerissa Low has received a coveted invite to speak at The Royal Investment Summit in June this year, where she will be able to pitch the brand to a network of royal families and high-net-worth individuals.

3 – Travel boom: L’Oréal banking on APAC travel retail opportunities to drive ‘big growth’ for the group

French cosmetics giant L’Oréal sees a bright future for its brands in the Asia Pacific travel retail market, which it believes will become a major driver of its future growth​, spurred on by demand from China.

Despite global tourism woes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, growth of L’Oréal’s travel retail division has been positive, largely due to its performance in APAC.

“With Asia, the travel retail market has been growing. We estimate that the travel retail in Asia Pacific has grown by double-digits,” ​said deputy CEO Nicolas Hieronimus.

Speaking to analysts on the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call, L’Oréal’s incoming CEO estimated that the APAC now accounts for a whopping 90% of the travel retail business and said that the firm was currently outperforming the market.

4 – Beauty disruptor: India’s MyGlamm to invest in NPD, data and offline after funding boost - CEO

The CEO of Indian beauty brand MyGlamm has laid out plans to invest in product and offline expansion​ as well as data science research after closing Series C funding round.

The direct-to-consumer (DTC) beauty brand closed a INR175Cr (USD24.2) Series C funding round with investments from Ascent Capital, Amazon and Wipro Consumer, it announced on March 18.

With this fresh round of funding, the company is now valued at more than USD100m, just three years after its launch in 2017.

We are really excited that we will be able to learn from both Amazon and Wipro Consumer along with the financial rigour that Ascent Capital brings as we move forward to fulfil our vision of building India’s largest beauty company leveraging DTC, digital, and data,” ​said Darpan Sanghvi, founder and CEO, MyGlamm.

5 – ‘Botanical powerhouse’: Lotus Herbals launches new premium clean beauty brand with aims to cross $10m mark

Lotus Herbals has launched a new premium clean beauty brand that it believes can surpass $10m this year on the back of the strong market demand for clean beauty products.

The Indian natural beauty company conceived Lotus Botanicals as a premium brand targeting the growing demand for safe and natural cosmetics, which has accelerated in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lotus Botanicals is a clean beauty botanical powerhouse that is pure, potent and truly transformative. It was conceptualised and curated after months of social listening and consumer interactions,”​ said Nitin Passi, managing director, Lotus Herbals.

“The idea of the brand is nested in delivering clean beauty solutions for the problems that consumers are facing today. We saw a growing segment of aware and educated consumers looking for safer, cleaner products. These consumers are already aware of what kind of ingredients would work well for their problems. We saw this gap in our existing offering and started working on a new brand that would imbibe all these qualities.”

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