Losing Burberry's Fragrance License Was a Bummer for Inter Parfums's Sales Last Year

On the bright side, the fragrance development and distribution company is now working with Abercrombie & Fitch.
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Eliza Brooke
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On the bright side, the fragrance development and distribution company is now working with Abercrombie & Fitch.
The campaign for "My Burberry." Photo: Burberry

The campaign for "My Burberry." Photo: Burberry

Inter Parfums is a company you might not immediately recognize by name, though you certainly know its work: As the fragrance partner to a long list of fashion houses and retailers, it develops and distributes perfumes for everyone from Jimmy Choo and Balmain to Oscar de la Renta and Abercrombie & Fitch.

It was also the licensee of Burberry's (many) fragrances, until the British brand recently decided to buy back its beauty licenses. Which would explain why Inter Parfums's sales took a solid hit in 2014 — down to $499 million, from $564 million in 2013. In a Wednesday afternoon earnings statement, the company was quick to point out that 2013's figures included $130.3 million-worth of Burberry sales. So, Inter Parfums reasoned, sales actually increased 15.3 percent, if you're looking at ongoing brands alone.

That's good for Inter Parfums's future. But it's still a bummer that Burberry yanked so much money off the table.

As for its near-term projects: In May, Inter Parfums is releasing Extraordinary, Oscar de la Renta's first fragrance since the designer's passing, and is also "already at work" developing scents for Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister for 2016. That one could actually be interesting, considering the image revamp Abercrombie is looking into. Onward and upward.