Body Shop and Avon owner Natura sees strong Q3, outpaces wider C&T market
Natura & Co, the Brazilian beauty giant that owns The Body Shop, Avon and Aesop, saw revenue rising healthily in Q3 as it beat the overall growth in the wider cosmetics and toiletries market.
Its consolidated sales rose 11.6% currency-neutral and a massive 31.7% in Brazilian Reais (BRL) to reach BRL10.4bn (€1.65bn/£1.48bn). Margins rose 330 basis points to 14.8% as the company also made cost savings.
Looking at individual brand performances in BRL, UK brand The Body Shop's net revenue increased 51.9%, driven by a very strong performance in online and direct sales. Consumers continued to shift to e-commerce and At-Home (that is, direct sales), with growth of more than 103% and 333%, respectively. This significantly offset a slower recovery in retail store sales. At the end of the quarter, 97% of stores had reopened. Adjusted EBITDA in Q3 was BRL308.3 million, with an adjusted margin of 22.3% (+360 bps).
Aesop “continued its success story from Q2, with strong double-digit growth in both sales and profitability” in BRL. Net sales grew 67.2% in Q3 as a 264% increase in digital sales helped offset pandemic-linked retail closures in key markets such as the US and Australia. Some 95% of the retail network had reopened at the end of the quarter. EBITDA in Q3 grew by 121.6% to BRL154.4 million, with the margin up 770 basis points to 31.3%.
Avon International, which comprises Avon's activities in 50 markets throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, saw its Q3 net revenue grow by 22.5% as most markets showed signs of recovery. Avon's new brand campaign, Watch Me Now, launched in September across more than 30 countries. Adjusted EBITDA was BRL183 million, but with a lower 7.4% margin (which was down 200 bps).
Meanwhile, in the group's original Latin American market, Natura & Co net revenue increased by 29.5% in BRL. The Avon brand's net revenue increased 19.3% in BRL (+9.9% currency neutral). Excluding a cyber incident that shifted BRL390 million in sales to Q3, Avon sales were up 3.3%, including +6.1% in Brazil. This was its first growth in the country for nearly two years, thanks to increased representative numbers and higher activity.
The Natura brand's net revenue in Latin America rose by a very strong 41.2%, supported by both Brazil (+30.5%), outperforming the domestic beauty market, and Hispanic Latam (+65.7%).
Adjusted EBITDA for Natura & Co Latam was BRL1,002.8 million, up 96.1%, and at the adjusted EBITDA margin was 16.5% (+560 bps).
Executive chairman and CEO Roberto Marques said: “In an environment that has remained challenging throughout the world as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we delivered superior results compared to the CFT market both globally and in Brazil. Our performance this quarter attests to the strength of our fundamentals, our unparalleled Direct-to-Consumer reach, and the resilience of our omnichannel, multi-brand model.”
The company seems to be in good shape overall and in October raised US$1 billion in new capital, allowing it to invest in its growth strategies (such as accelerating its move to digital), in sustainability and also in reducing debt.
Its investment in digital is clearly justified with the company seeing total e-sales rising more than 115% in the quarter. At Natura and Avon combined, e-commerce sales grew more than 80% through consultants sharing their online stores. Meanwhile, online sales at Aesop were up 264%, and e-commerce sales at The Body Shop grew 103%, as mentioned earlier.
Digital social selling also progressed. At Avon globally, sales via representatives sharing e-brochures more than doubled, and the number of consumers accessing Avon's e-brochure increased nearly 70%. At Natura, content sharing grew by more than 170% since the first quarter of this year, and the number of orders increased 45% through the more than 1 million consultant online stores.
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