This year, Suh Kyung-bae celebrates his 20 years as chairman of AmorePacific Group. Suh took over the reins of the Korean cosmetics giant on March 18, 1997.
The combined sales of the group, which amounted to 646.2 billion won at the end of 1996, hit 6.7 trillion won at the end of last year. During the same period, operating profit grew from 52.2 billion won to 1.08 trillion won. The group’s market cap also surged from 140 billion won to 26 trillion won.
AmorePacific Group’s strenuous commitment to its cosmetics business has led to such remarkable results. When Suh took the helm of the group, the Korean cosmetics industry was on the wane due to fierce market competition following the 1986 opening of the Korean market to foreign brands.
After he assumed the top position, Suh set out a 21st-century vision for the group to become a 'Global Total Care Provider for Beauty and Health.’ And Suh drastically restructured the group by selling businesses that were unrelated to cosmetics, such as Pacific Securities, Pacific Electronics and Pacific Fashion.
As a result, at the end of 1996, the number of the group’s affiliates decreased from 13 to 10. Sales and operating profit, however, ballooned 10 fold and 21 fold, respectively.
The expansion of AmorePacific’s global business greatly helped boost both sales and operating profit. At the end of 1996, the group’s exports amounted to 9.4 billion won. Sales of the group’s global business reached about 1.7 trillion won at the end of last year, a 181-fold jump from 20 years ago.
AmorePacific, which has been sinking its teeth into Chinese-speaking countries, is planning to shift its focus to expanding its market share in ASEAN countries and America. In particular, AmorePacific plans to focus on brand building in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and gain ground in megacities of Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
On the American front, AmorePacific is set to expand its brand portfolio by launching ‘innisfree’ in the US in the second half of this year.
To break into the Middle East market, AmorePacific set up a subsidiary in Dubai and teamed up with one of the biggest local distributors. Within this year, AmorePacific will launch makeup brand Etude House. In the European market, it is scheduled to launch its skincare brand in the second half of this year.