Interview: Jean Mortier of Coty Prestige
Kipp speaks to Senior Vice President of Coty Prestige Jean Mortier on the year that was, the year to come and everything in between.
March 4, 2012 3:59 by p.deleon
How did Coty Prestige fare in 2011?
2011, we are back to growth, after the, ahem, crisis-we don’t like to talk about those times you know. Most of the market is growing, especially the US market—it has been growing in double digits. We are still not back to the pre-crisis level before 2008, but the market has been very very bullish. Travel, retail, duty free, globally, also came back in a very strong way and this region also came back in 2011. Although, I would say that since January the trends have been different in Europe especially in South Europe: Itlay, Spain and even France—the market has been impacted in a big way.
What do you credit the growth in the US to?
It is just a return to normal growth. People love fragrances at the end of the day and as soon as their income starts coming back, they are happy to start spending again. We are not yet at the level of the pre-crisis times, just yet, but the growth is very very strong.
What kind of growth does COTY predict for 2012?
Actually 2012 is one of the years where we have very low visibility. I would say excluding the US, where have enjoyed a growth in the double digits—Asia is still continuing to grow but Europe there is a big question mark—because of the Euro crisis, because of what is happening in Greece. In fact some markets in Europe can also be in the negative this year.
How did the “Arab Spring” affect Coty, if indeed it did at all?
A little bit, of course. Anything that is not business as usual-affects the business—the effects of which were most noticeable especially in the Duty Free-that is where you feel the crisis the worst.
How does Coty characterize the GCC market?
In terms of olfaction-there is a different taste in the Middle East. That is something that we are careful and we create some of the limited editions for some of the brands. But the Middle East-this is a market that loves fragrance—it is part of the culture.
What is the biggest obstacle for Coty in 2012 in the Arab World?
For me it is the political instability and social instability especially in places like Syria—when people start to get worried. The rest, you know, the format of economy is very strong. The oil is very expensive today so the income for the country will also be very good; but my major concern is the political instability.
So what measures are you taking to protect Coty from the potential political instability?
We have been very careful in the way we are managing this region. We still invest a lot in innovation. We think of Coty as a very big innovator. We have a wide portfolio of brands, global brands like Calvin Klien or Davidoff,-so we are able to work with a lot of companies and a lot of fashion houses. Our managers and marketing people know very well how to deliver: we can see the consumer’s needs from different angles and react accordingly.