Charlotte Tilbury sales soared in 2020, sale price to Puig was £1.3bn
Charlotte Tilbury saw rising sales during the height of the pandemic last year with online accounting for two-thirds of transactions and the company able to repay £3.2 million of furlough cash, accounts filed at Companies House show.
The eight-year-old cosmetics and skincare brand was sold for £1.3 billion during the year to Spain’s Puig, the accounts revealed, which is higher than the £1 billion price tag that had been widely assumed at the time. Make-up-artist-turned-beauty-entrepreneur Tilbury held a controlling stake at the time of the sale so would have received hundreds of millions of pounds from the deal. She remains a minority shareholder today.
So what about those rising sales? They were up 11.3% in 2020 to £258.5 million as key markets such as the UK, mainland Europe and Asia continued to buy the brand even though lockdowns were in force for part of the period.
Those lockdowns meant its stores were shut for months at a time and this caused online sales to more than double. They rose 115% to £109 million. They were helped by a tech-enabled virtual store complete with Tilbury avatar and e-video beauty consultations. Important too was the fact that the company continued with its launch programme while some of its peers delayed launches in an environment where make-up in particular took a back seat.
But it seems that Tilbury’s strong social media presence helped keep the brand in consumers’ minds, something that was crucial at a time when social media comms were even more to the fore than usual. Tilbury herself has 4.4 million followers on Instagram.
Despite the higher sales, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £9.9 million (after a profit of £11.6 million in the previous year) due to one-off costs of £29 million linked to the Puig buyout. But underlying profits rose close to 44% at £32 million.
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