P&G Prestige Products (Switzerland)
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P&G Prestige Products is the fine fragrance and cosmetics division of packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble. With twin headquarters in New York and Geneva, the business manages a large portfolio of well-known luxury fragrance brands, mostly under license. Key brands include Hugo Boss, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. The business was formed in 2005 from the merger of Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, previously a division of Wella, with P&G's existing worldwide fragrance business. Currently ranked #2 behind L'Oreal, the group had originally set its sights on overtaking its rival to become the global #1, and was often identified by analysts as the potential buyer of smaller fragrance-led marketers such as Estee Lauder or Clarins. However, the poor performance of P&G's overall beauty business has become a major concern, and the group is now understood to be planning a complete withdrawal from cosmetics and fragrance, including the possible sale of P&G Prestige. Several smaller brands have already been divested.
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Brands & Activities
P&G Prestige also now manages ultra-luxury skincare brand SK-II, sales of which broke through the $1bn barrier for the first time in 2012. (Euromonitor/Sanford Bernstein estimated $935m for 2013). Originally marketed in Asia, it has gradually expanded into other regions, including the US from 2004, and Europe in 2005.
The group has pruned its portfolio since 2005 to focus on what it described as "brands with big global potential, regional star brands or potential growth engines". As a result numerous licenses have been dropped or discontinued, including Helmut Lang, Ellen Tracy, Toni & Tina, Trussardi, Charles Jourdan and Yohji Yamamoto. Old-fashioned British brand Yardley was sold in 2005 to Lornamead; long-established German favourite 4711 was sold to Maurer & Wirtz in 2006. Other licenses including Cindy Crawford, Baldessarini and Ghost were quietly surrendered between 2005 and 2010. For several years, P&G also handled US distribution of the Burberry fragrance range on behalf of Inter Parfums of Europe. That license transferred to Clarins USA during 2010. At around the same time, the Valentino license was shifted from P&G to Puig.
Several other brands have already been divested. Classic high-end fragrance Jean Patou was transferred in 2014 to Designer Parfums, which had already taken control of along with the Naomi Campbell and Ghost licenses. The Puma fragrance brand (sales of $62m in 2013) transferred to L'Oreal from Jan 2015 following the end of P&G's license. Rochas was sold to smaller group InterParfums in 2015.
Combined sales of P&G Prestige were estimated at around $2.5bn in 2013, though that figure includes SK-II. Fragrances and their associated cosmetics contribute approximately $1.7bn.
Joanne Crewes, global president of P&G Prestige Products since 2011, retired at the end of 2014. Her predecessor Patrice Louvet took over control of a merged prestige, cosmetics and salon professional division. Donald Loftus retired as president & CEO of P&G Prestige Products in the US at the beginning of 2013, and was succeeded by Dennis Curran.
In Geneva, executives include Bill Brace (VP, global market development & operations), Marco Parsiegla (general manager, global prestige products), Michel Lambert (global director, media planning & operations), Maria Carla Luini (VP & GM, global fashion brands), Jean-Paul Jansen (global marketing director & global brand operations leader), Guillaume Tardy (director, global Hugo Boss fragrances), Nikolaus Maass (global brand manager, Hugo Boss), Alex Schellenberger (commercial leader, Hugo Boss), Mary Carmen Gasco-Buisson (associate marketing director, Hugo Boss fragrances), Paolo Gialdi (commercial leader, D&G Fragrances), Sergio Arreola (marketing director, D&G fragrances), Claudia Marcocci (senior global design group manager, D&G fragrances), Jonathan Brinbaum (senior marketing group manager, Lacoste & Escada), Sandra Ekong (global brand manager, Gucci beauty), Julie Gosalvez (market business & digital leader, Hugo Boss), Melanie Montel (marketing group manager, Lacoste), and Rita Cardoso (global brand manager, Stella McCartney & Alexander McQueen).
In New York, executives include Kim Yates (SVP, marketing), Barbara Luisi (VP, sales), Linda Kessler (VP, communications) and TJ Stouder (brand director, Hugo Boss & Lacoste).
Procter & Gamble's current fragrance portfolio has been accumulated gradually as a result of a series of acquisitions over several years since 1990. The group made its first moves into the beauty and cosmetics sector in the late 1980s with the acquisition of Richardson-Vicks, which added Pantene and what is now Olay to the group. Further cosmetics purchases followed, but the group's first real step into fragrance came in 1990 with the acquisition of Shulton, which controlled mass-market men's aftershave Old Spice and other products.
Additional brands joined the group over the next few years, some as a by-product of other acquisitions. For example, German beauty company Eurocos, which P&G acquired from Revlon in 1992, managed the fragrance licenses for Hugo Boss and Laura Biagiotti as well as Ellen Betrix cosmetics. Other fragrance brands were specifically acquired, such as Giorgio Beverly Hills, acquired from Avon in 1994; famed French perfume house Jean Patou, acquired in 2001, along with its subsidiary brand Lacoste; and the Valentino license, acquired from Unilever in 2003 (but later surrendered to Puig).
Yet although several of these acquisitions brought with them a European management team experienced in fine fragrance sales and distribution, P&G lacked confidence in the US outside of the mass-market. As a result, sales and distribution of the group's prestige fragrances in the US were outsourced in 1999 to Clarins. P&G's dilemma was solved by the acquisition of Cosmopolitan Cosmetics as part of Wella. This business, which already handled several prestige products in the US, including Gucci, had its own North American management structure. As a result the six year contract with Clarins was allowed to lapse at the end of 2005, at which point P&G regained US distribution of Giorgio, Hugo Boss, Jean Patou, Lacoste and Valentino. Cosmopolitan also brought with it the Rochas couture fashion business. This was eventually closed in 2006.
Patrice Louvet replaced Hartwig Langer as global president of P&G Prestige Products in 2009, reporting to Ed Shirley, vice chairman for global beauty. Louvet was in turn succeeded in July 2011 by Joanne Crewes.
Last full revision 1st May 2015
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