BEAUTY CARE

FTC chairman to move to P&G

BY Adam Kraemer

WASHINGTON Federal Trade Commission chairman Deborah Platt Majoras will become general counsel of Procter & Gamble, the FTC and P&G announced on Thursday.

The vacated position will likely be filled by William Kovacic, one of the two remaining Republicans on the commission, which also has one Democrat and one independent.

Before heading the FTC, Majoras was principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and prior to her government service, was an antitrust partner with law firm Jones Day.

After nearly four years at the FTC, Majoras will begin work on June 1 as P&G’s vice president and general counsel based in Cincinnati, said company spokeswoman Robyn Schroeder.

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Bare Escentuals posts solid Q4 results

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN FRANCISCO Bare Escentuals, a maker of mineral make up, posted solid fourth quarter results and expects to continue its momentum in 2008 by expanding its product offering and access to products both domestically and abroad.

“Bare Escentuals produced a solid quarter in an exceptionally difficult retail environment, demonstrating the strength of its brand and the loyalty of its customer base,” stated SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst William Chappell in a research note.

Net income for the quarter totaled to $27 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, compared with $16.3 million, or 18 cents per share in the year-ago period. The current quarter’s earnings per share exceeded analyst expectations by one penny and were two cents above the Street mean.

Sales for the quarter were $144.6 million, up about 31 percent from $110.5 million in the year-ago period.

For fiscal 2008, the company reaffirmed its guidance of sales growth of between 20 percent and 25 percent and diluted earnings per share of between $1.13 and $1.18.

“We note that the company did, however, raise its expected door count from 750 to 780 by the end of 2008 as several initiatives are running ahead of schedule. We are maintaining our 2008 estimate of $1.19 as we believe the guidance is overly conservative. Additionally, we are maintaining our 2009 estimate of $1.48,” added Chappell.

Among the new initiatives: The beauty company will be testing in 10 department stores in the U.K. with four different retailers. Testing is expected to begin in the spring. Chappell believes that similar testing will be the norm for the company going forward as it looks to expand its presence in markets such as Japan, Germany and France.

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P&G holds sneak peek at Cate Blanchett’s Essentials Collection

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Procter & Gamble’s upscale skin care line SK-II recently celebrated here Cate Blanchett’s global ambassadorship and the brand’s new 2008 campaign.

At a luncheon recently held at the Sunset Towers in Hollywood, attendees received a sneak peak of SK-II’s new launch for spring, Cate’s Essentials Collection, which includes three of the products through which Blanchett first discovered the brand. The collection includes Facial Treatment Essence, the cornerstone of the brand, Facial Treatment Repair C and Facial Treatment Masks.

To promote the brand, photographer Michael Thompson created black and white portrait of the actress. The ads will run in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom and Spain beginning in March.

The collection retails for $250 and will launch in March exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue with extended roll out beginning in April.

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