From condoms to cosmetics, sales in China rise as lockdowns end

LONDON/MILAN/FRANKFURT: The world’s biggest consumer and luxury goods companies have seen sales of everything from cosmetics to condoms increase in China since Beijing ended strict rules Covid-19 curbsanother sign that the world’s No. 2 economy is recovering after the pandemic.
Upbeat comments from Reckitt Benckiser, Nivea maker Beiersdorf, Moncler and Puma on Wednesday came after data showed The Chinese manufacturing sector rose in February at the fastest pace in more than a decade.
Beiersdorf chief executive Vincent Warnery said the company has seen the first signs of recovery in China and the global travel retail sector, fueled by the reopening of the country.
“After a very volatile January, with traffic still heavily impacted by the release of Covid restrictions in December, we are seeing a clear recovery in retail sales from February,” he said during a briefing. release for analysts.
“China has returned to growth, not only online but also in bricks and mortar.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the briefing, Warnery said growth at Beiersdorf’s La Prairie and Eucerin and Nivea high-end skincare ranges would likely be driven by Chinese demand. Tourism from China was helping sales in neighboring Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan and even Japan, he added.
Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Nurofen tablets, the cold remedy Lemsip and Durexsaw a recovery in China after lower volumes due to lockdowns.
“I have no doubt that intimate wellness (business) in China will do well,” said acting general manager Nicandro Durante, referring to the division that includes KY Jelly and Durex condoms.
The upbeat comments echo those of many executives during the fourth-quarter earnings season, particularly luxury brands that are banking on a strong rebound fueled by Chinese shoppers tapping into savings accumulated during pandemic shutdowns.
Resilient sales in China would be a relief for businesses struggling with higher energy and labor costs, particularly in Europe, as rising food, energy and rent prices force consumers to be more selective on what they buy.
Stronger signs than Chinese factories Rebounds from the lifting of Covid restrictions late last year could also temper an expected slowdown in the global economy, as the US Federal Reserve remains on its path of higher interest rates for longer.
down jackets
The data relieved investors and supported global equities.
The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.3% at 11:09 GMT, adding to its rise of more than 8% since the start of the year and regaining some of the ground lost last year when the region was rocked by the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis. it got triggered.
Shares of Moncler rose more than 5%, putting it among the best performers in the index, after the Italian luxury group, known for its warm down jackets, said it had had a strong start to the year.
Chief Marketing and Operations Officer Roberto Eggs said on a call with analysts Tuesday night that the company saw double-digit sales growth in China before and after the Lunar New Year holiday in January.
“We always look at the results two weeks before and one week after Chinese New Year and the impact is really positive,” he said.
Adding to growing confidence in the luxury sector, the company said it had seen no negative effects on demand following a 10% price increase at the start of the winter season.
Reuters reported in February that Louis Vuitton, LVMH’s biggest fashion brand, is expected to raise prices in China by up to 20%.


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