PARIS — Less than a week after Compagnie Financière Richemont said it is raising the bar on its fragrance beauty business, which resulted in Interparfums SA’s stock sinking 9.4 percent the same day, Interparfums’ chairman and chief executive officer addressed financial analysts and journalists.
Speaking Tuesday morning in the auditorium of Interparfums’ Left Bank Paris headquarters, Philippe Benacin discussed the company’s strong half-year results, the addition of the Lacoste fragrance license to its portfolio and the group’s upcoming private label, among other subjects
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But first, he talked about the Richemont news, speculating what a source also told WWD on Sept. 7 — that the formation of the Laboratoire de Haute Parfumerie et Beauté seems not to signal that Richemont plans to take its fragrance brands in-house.
Richemont-owned brands with fragrances include Van Cleef & Arpels, Chloé, Dunhill, Alaïa, Boucheron and Montblanc. Interparfums and Coty Inc. are the licensees, while Cartier perfumes are developed in-house.
Montblanc is Interparfums’ largest fragrance brand. In the first half of 2023, Montblanc generated 107.4 million euros of the group’s total sales of 396.1 million euros. Van Cleef is the group’s seventh-largest, ringing up 12.4 million euros, and Boucheron placed ninth, with sales of 9 million euros in the six-month period.
Richemont said on Sept. 7 that the Laboratoire de Haute Parfumerie et Beauté is a platform aimed at scaling the fragrance brands in its portfolio. It named Boet Brinkgreve the division’s CEO. The former Firmenich executive reports to Richemont chairman Johann Rupert.
Brinkgreve is to help the six maisons already involved in fragrance “to reach critical mass in this highly competitive field, where scale is crucial,” Richemont said at the time. The company added the new platform “will leverage resources across our maisons to help develop the most refined creations and promising licenses.”
The Richemont announcement came months after Kering said it had formed an internal beauty division and began taking its fragrance activity back in-house, so that strategy was top of mind for industry experts.
Benacin shared an overview of Interparfums’ Richemont-related fragrance licenses. Montblanc’s was recently extended until 2030, and license renewal discussions with Van Cleef have not yet begun, but should before yearend, according to Benacin.
“We have so many projects for ’25 and ’26 which are underway,” he said, referring to Van Cleef fragrances.
Meanwhile, the status of the Boucheron license, which is currently set to expire at the end of 2025, could not immediately be learned.
In April 2022, New York-based Interparfums Inc., Interparfums SA’s parent company, revealed its fragrance license with Dunhill would expire on Sept. 30.
Interparfums SA very briefly held the Alaïa fragrance license in the past, but that was when the fashion brand’s management was in flux.
Benacin said that for Interparfums today the priority is: “We have an important roadmap that is being put in place.”
The group is concentrating on continuing to generate strong sales throughout the year and on the new 15-year Lacoste license, which begins Jan. 1. That license had previously been held by Coty.
Benacin said it is key to have a fourth brand with high sales, referring also to Montblanc, Jimmy Choo and Coach.
“Today, it’s focus, focus on the existing portfolio, on the renewal of Van Cleef and the relaunch of Lacoste,” he said.
A question was raised about fragrance licenses in the wake of the recent news that Tapestry is acquiring Capri in an $8.5 billion deal. Interparfums is the licensee of fragrance brands Coach and Kate Spade, part of Tapestry, and of fragrance brand Jimmy Choo, part of Capri.
“What will come out of all this? I do not know for the moment,” said Benacin, adding he doesn’t believe that Capri is looking to bring its fragrance brands in-house.
The licenses for Coach, Kate Spade and Jimmy Choo are not due to end anytime soon.
Licenses aside, for the last nine months, Interparfums has been working on its own private label.
“We expect the launch to be in January ’25,” said Benacin, who kept mum on further details.
Interparfums reported net income in the first half of 2023 rose 43 percent year-on-year to 77.6 million euros, representing 19.6 percent of sales. Operating profit came in at 102.2 million euros, a 42 percent gain.
The company observed slowdowns in some geographic markets during the summer months, but nonetheless maintained its annual sales target of around 800 million euros for full-year 2023.
Interparfums stock closed down 0.9 percent to 52.60 euros on the Paris bourse Tuesday.
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