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Sep 10, 2008
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Perfume company Coty to post 2008 sales of $4 bln

Sep 10, 2008

NEW YORK, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Coty Inc, the world's largest fragrance company with high-end perfume brands such as Calvin Klein and Vera Wang, is due to report that its 2008 annual sales rose over 20 percent to $4 billion.

Coty is privately-held, but its stature in the industry makes its financial results a closely-watched indicator, like those of public perfume and cosmetics makers such as Estee Lauder Cos Inc and L'Oreal .

The fortunes of those two companies have diverged in a deteriorating economy, with L'Oreal being hit by consumer thrift in its mature markets and Estee beating Wall Street expectations in its last quarter on strong sales outside the United States.

Coty's prestige division, which sells its more expensive brands, recorded 2008 revenue of $2.1 billion, while its beauty unit posted $1.9 billion in annual sales, a company spokeswoman said. It is scheduled to release its results on Thursday.

The company is now targeting annual sales to touch $5 billion in 2010, Chief Executive Bernd Beetz told Reuters.

Coty, founded in Paris, became the world's biggest perfume company after it bought Unilever's fragrance unit in 2005.

Its perfume brands include expensive ones like Chopard, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, and mid-priced fragrances like Esprit and Kylie Minogue. Coty also owns the Rimmel brand of makeup. (Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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