Make-up drives UK prestige beauty sales

UK sales of prestige beauty products grew 6% to £803m in the first half of this year, driven by skincare and make-up.

While prestige beauty sales fell in mainland Europe - down 2% in France and Spain and 3% in Italy - the sector continued to perform well in the UK, according to new data from analyst NPD Group.

Make-up was the star performer, with sales up 9% in the six months to the end of June 2013. Premium skincare sales were up 6% and premium fragrance sales up 4%.

Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst at The NPD Group, said: “Though the results [for the UK] compared to those in the Euro zone, look like ‘the tale of two markets’, there is one common thread: investment spending continues.

She added: "The markets in the Euro zone face greater challenges but, with the exception of Spain, most markets are continuing to show increases in average selling price across all categories. This tells us that while consumers may be cutting back in spending they are continuing to invest in value, even when that may be at higher prices,”