SEOUL -- South Korea's top beauty product maker, AmorePacific, expressed confidence about overseas sales this year despite last year's weak earnings caused by China's retaliatory steps, including a travel ban, in a row over a U.S. missile shield.
AmorePacific CEO Ahn Sae-hong told a meeting of shareholders Friday that his company would accelerate its overseas push to improve earnings this year. "We will accelerate our overseas business in order to establish a bridgehead for the improvement of earnings this year," Ahn said.
The cosmetics firm will pioneer new markets such as the Middle East and Australia, he said, adding AmorePacific has seen steady growth abroad last year, helped by brisk sales in Asia and North America. Ahn said domestic sales fell sharply due to poor sales at duty-free shops and a plunge in the number of Chinese tourists.
This month, AmorePacific launched its key brand Mamonde, a flower-inspired cosmetics line, in the United States through a deal with Ulta Beauty, an operator of American cosmetics stores. This week, the company started selling its mid-end Laneige at Sephora stores and online in Australia.
Helped by Hallyu (Korean cultural wave), exports of South Korean cosmetics products in 2016 soared 41 percent on-year to a record high of 3.45 billion US dollars, including $1.24 billion to China. Last year, AmorePacific logged a net profit of 489.5 billion won, down 39.7 percent on-year because China imposed a travel ban on groups tours to South Korea and restricted imports of some Korean products and K-pop culture.
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