(Yicai Global) Nov. 27 -- Strong seasonality pushed the net profit of L'Occitane International SA [HK:0973], a global, natural ingredient-based cosmetics and well-being products company, to fall 59 percent yearly to USD13 million in the first half of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the company's latest financial data shows.
Pop idol Lu Han became its brand ambassador in mainland China in May.
China thereafter became the fastest-growing market for L'Occitane, with a growth rate of 22.7 percent in both online and offline channels following this celebrity endorsement.
Lu, a 27-year-old pop star, embarked on his career as a lead singer and dancer in the South Korean boy band EXO/EXO-M in April 2012. He returned to the limelight in mainland China in 2014 where he soon attracted a large fanbase. He admitted to being in a relationship with movie star Guan Xiaotong on his personal social media account last month, as his studio also later confirmed.
The impact of this love affair drove L'Occitane's turnover during the Double 11 (Nov. 11) online shopping festival to slightly below expectations. Sales in China achieved 27 percent growth in the first quarter.
The company will also cultivate a new female brand ambassador in China to promote its facial care products within the country, it said.