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NPD Reports Global Prestige Beauty Annual Sales Results; U.S. Growth Outpaces Europe

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Port Washington, NY, March 5, 2013 – The global prestige beauty industry ended the year with mixed results, according to The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company. The U.S. prestige beauty* industry posted a seven percent gain in 2012, generating $10.2 billion, compared to the 11 percent increase in 2011. On the other hand, challenging economic conditions contributed to sales declines across many European countries.

Global Prestige Beauty Growth Size and Performance


Dollar Volume

Dollar Percent Change


$10.2 Billion



$3.4 Billion



$3.5 Billion



$2.2 Billion



$1.6 Billion


Source: The NPD Group, Inc.

Annual 2012 growth in the U.S. was driven primarily by skincare, 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.

In Europe, skincare sales were down two percent in overall category performance with some pockets of growth in the Face, Body, and Sun segments. Driven by the strong sales in the UK, makeup was the only category to experience an overall growth of two percent throughout Europe, with Face, Eye, Lip, and Nail representing 92 percent of the European prestige beauty business. Fragrances were down one percent overall, comprised of Juices, Ancillaries, and Gift Sets.

Category Results by Country

Countries U.S. France U.K. Italy Spain
TOTAL +7% -1% +5% -4% -6%
Skincare +10% flat +5% -6% -7%
Makeup +7% -1% +11% flat -9%
Fragrance +5% -1% +3% -3% -6%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc.

“Moving into 2013, we can expect premium products to again be a shining light even in Europe,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group.

“In fragrance, eau de parfums are outperforming in most geographies thanks to the strength of ‘couture’ designer brands. In makeup, alternative brands join designer and makeup artist brands in expanding the offerings in foundations and in color categories, such as innovations in lip products. In skincare, new sub-categories are gaining importance as high-end innovation in devices such as, sonic cleaning, in the U.S., make a mark and there continues to be advancements in anti-aging, which is now offered with brightening and complexion solutions,” said Grant.

*Prestige Beauty: Products sold mainly in U.S. Department Stores.

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