L'Occitane en Provence completes restructuring of US operations
The US subsidiary of cosmetics group L’Occitane International, facing difficulties that were heightened by the Covid-19 crisis, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the New Jersey court in January. The court proceedings related only to the US business of the group’s L’Occitane en Provence brand, and were completed by the end of August.
L’Occitane has in fact stated that on August 24 it was granted approval for its restructuring plan by the bankruptcy court for the district of New Jersey. The reorganisation’s main provision was to reduce the number of stores operated by L’Occitane en Provence, which has now dropped from 166 to 133. The new retail organisation has been defined as “optimal” and “robust” in a press release issued by L’Occitane’s US subsidiary. In January, the latter had underlined that, despite the growing importance of L'Occitane en Provence’s online sales, the brand's business was still “negatively impacted by the disproportionately high rents paid by its stores, [rents] that were no longer viable.” Notably, L'Occitane en Provence’s restructuring plan provides for full settlement of all debts.
The L’Occitane International group is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and its brand portfolio includes Elemis, LimeLife, Erborian and Melvita. In the 2020-21 financial year, the group’s aggregate sales fell by 6.5%, down to €1.53 billion. Operating income was instead €220.2 million, equivalent to a 17.6% rise.
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