UK speciality chemicals firm Elementis saw profits in its personal care division rise 35% in the first six months of 2022 on a year earlier.
The London-based outfit recorded an adjusted operating half-yearly profit of $25.9 million in personal care, up from $19.2 million on the first six months of 2021.
Half-yearly 2022 personal care revenue rose 19% to $105.6 million against “a weak prior year comparative driven by demand recovery, pricing actions and continued strategic progress,” the company said.
“As COVID-19 related social and travel restrictions further eased, particularly in the western hemisphere, retail demand in our two key end markets, colour cosmetics and anti-perspirant deodorants, continued to recover,” it added.
“Asia and skincare, two areas of strategic focus, also showed good momentum. Despite lockdowns in China, sales into Asia grew 18% driven by recent capability investments, while skincare sales grew 23% supported by new product launches.”
Overall, Elementis recorded a half-yearly company adjusted operating profit of $66 million, up 21% on 2021. Revenue rose 6% to $478 million.
Looking ahead, Elementis said it sees significant scope to expand its scale in personal care, and to do so at high margins.
Asia represents under 20% of Elementis’ personal care sales and its medium term aim is to double cosmetics sales in the region.
“Despite lockdowns in China, in the first half we grew 18% in Asia, benefitting from recent investments in local resources, including a new technical service centre in Shanghai and recent product launches,” the company said.
“To drive further growth, we have continued to invest, with new sales capabilities in India, and the launch of hectorite gels approved for use in Japan, providing access to a large and growing market,” it added.
In skincare, Elementis aims to deliver $10 million of incremental sales over the medium term, and with 23% growth in the first half of 2022 it is approximately two-thirds on target.
In anti-perspirant actives, meanwhile, the company experienced a strong first half performance improvement and its new plant in India is on course for full start up later this year, delivering significant cost savings and enhancing access to fast-growing markets in Asia.