South Korea’s largest cosmetics firm AmorePacific Group has seen its operating profit grow more than 20-fold on a 10-fold jump in revenue under the leadership of Chairman Suh Kyung-bae who celebrated his 20-year anniversary Monday. The firm facing growing business risk in China after its stellar 20-year business success will make more aggressive forays into new markets such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The firm congratulating Chairman Suh’s 20-year anniversary said in a statement Monday that its operating profit expanded 21 times to 1.1 trillion ($969 million) last year from 52.2 billion won in 1996. Suh took the helm of the corporation in 1997. Its revenue increased 10-fold from 646.0 billion won to 6.7 trillion won over the same period. Its investment in research & development (R&D) also rose about seven times from 17.9 billion won in 1997 to 130.8 billion won last year.
Backed by such stellar performance, the company, which prides itself as being “Asian beauty creator,” was ranked 12th in the world’s Beauty Inc. Top 100 list published by Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), U.S. fashion-industry trade journal, last year.
The main driver behind the elevation of the Korean beauty products maker to one of renowned global cosmetics companies is Suh’s drive to make inroads into overseas markets.
Over the past 20 years since Suh took office, AmorePacific’s revenue from abroad rose a whopping 181 times to 1.7 trillion won last year from 9.4 billion won in 1996. Since its debut in overseas markets in 2002, it has expanded the number of its foreign branches to 19 across 14 countries overseeing 3,200 outlets.
Suh is focusing to accelerate its push into foreign countries with the firm’s top five brands - Sulwhasoo, Laneige, Mamonde, Etude House and Innisfree. Sulwhasoo, in particular, has set a revenue milestone of 1 trillion won, a very first for a single brand in the Korean beauty industry in 2015. The brand has remained the top seller across department stores nationwide more than a decade.
In response to China’s growing retaliation against Korean firms doing business in the country following the Korean government’s deployment of the U.S. antimissile system Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), AmorePacific will focus more on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, the North America market and elsewhere. While establishing solid footing in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, it will tap into growing beauty markets in Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. In the North American market, it will also launch Innisfree in the latter half of this year.
In addition, the firm has already set up a branch in Dubai and formed cooperation with the largest local retailer in its push into the Middle East. It will introduce its brand Etude House in the region. For the European market, it is readying launch of a skincare brand later this year.
During the ceremony celebrating his 20-year service in AmorePacific, Suh set forth the firm’s “Vision 2025” Monday, dubbed “Great Company.” He said the company will maintain sustainable management and enhance corporate social responsibility to achieve the goal. Suh called on the firm’s workers to make utmost efforts to keep on with its legacy of contributing to people’s beauty and health.
The firm is due to move into its new headquarters in Yongsan, central Seoul in November.
By Jeon Ji-hyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]