AmorePacific is the dominant cosmetics company in South Korea, with around 40% local market share, and it has a broad international profile, mainly in China and other Asian countries but also increasingly in selected Western markets and in travel retail. The group caused a sensation in the late 2000s with the invention of the "cushion compact" foundation applicator; it successfully licensed the technology to several cosmetics rivals, and has followed with a stream of other innovative makeup products. Key brands include the luxury AmorePacific brand (which has selective distribution in the US and Japan as well as more widely in Korea), premium-priced Sulwhasoo (its biggest brand with sales in excess of $1bn), Laneige, IOPE and Mamonde. Affiliated companies include top-selling Korean cosmetics brand Etude and natural beauty business Innisfree. Direct sales account for around a quarter of the company's revenues, through a network almost 40,000 independent consultants, but the remainder is generated by traditional retail sales through department stores and mass outlets, as well as the group's own Aritaum retail network. The latter now has a growing footprint in North America, and the group is also establishing a presence in Europe through LVMH's Sephora and other third-party retail chains. However it terminated its Lolita Lempicka fragrance license in Europe in 2017. The group acquired a minority stake in Australian premium custom skincare brand Rationale in 2020. Most group brands are priced as luxury or premium items, but AmorePacific also produces mass-market cosmetics, haircare and bodycare products, mainly for the domestic market. Revenues were around $5.4bn in 2019 with net profit of approx $231m. Kyung-Bae Suh is CEO as well as controlling shareholder, and South Korea's second richest person. His grandmother laid the foundations of the business in the 1930s with a line of home-made hair oils made from camellia flowers. His father incorporated that business after World War II as Pacific Chemical Industries, South Korea's first domestic cosmetics company. It adopted the AmorePacific name in 2002.
Capsule checked 4th June 2020
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