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Kolmar Korea expands global presence amid K-beauty fever

A researcher works on a mixture sample for a cosmetic prototype at Kolmar Korea's R&D complex in Seoul in May. Courtesy of Kolmar Korea

Kolmar Korea is accelerating the country’s cosmetic and sunscreen product exports as multiple local brands developed by the company have proven their leading marketability globally, according to the major cosmetic company, Thursday.The products of K-beauty indie brands, namely Beauty of Joseon, d’Alba and LAKA, are stirring overseas markets, dominating rival brands there. The performances have contributed to Kolmar registering record-high sales and operating profit figures last year.Beauty of Joseon’s “Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics” topped the sunscreen category in Amazon’s Black Friday Deal last year and sun care category among global consumers for Olive Young, a beauty product curator and seller under CJ Group. “Fitting SPF Boosting” has an increased UV-blocking effect and resolves skin-whitening and sticky feel issues.Japanese consumers raved at d’Alba’s “Waterfull Tone-up Sunscreen.” It conquered the sunscreen and base makeup category in local major beauty platform Qoo10 Japan & Rakuten. Behind the popularity was Kolmar’s “polymer gel network” technology, which maximizes sun care and moisture effects.Makeup brand LAKA’s “Fruity Glam Tint” also dominated the Japanese market, ranking No. 1 in the lip tint category on Lips, a social review app for cosmetic products.The popularity transitioned to the brands’ hiked sales overseas. Goodai Global, which operates Beauty of Joseon, last year registered 140 billion won ($102 million) in sales, a year-on-year increase by 250 percent. Among the sales, 90 percent came from markets outside Korea.Bmonument, which operates d’Alba, saw 201 billion won in sales last year, a 38.3 percent jump from the previous year. Some 22 percent of the

sales, or 44.6 billion won, were made in overseas markets, a year-on-year jump by 135 percent. LAKA’s third-quarter sales last year were 12.5 billion won, double the previous year, 70 percent of which was from the brand’s global markets.Kolmar, on the back of its brand performance, saw the highest growth in its history last year with sales of over 2.1 trillion won and operating profit of 136 billion won, jumps of 15.5 percent and 85.8 percent, respectively.Kolmar has been investing 7 percent of its sales each year into R&D and made up at least 30 percent of its employees with researchers to boost its technological breakthroughs. This has resulted in having registered a total of 561 patents as of March, 28 of which were from last year alone. Last August, the company registered three patents in a single day for “cosmetic composition containing high concentration of vitamin C.”Kolmar last July opened NJ Innovation Center of Kolmar Laboratories in the U.S. state of New Jersey, where the company, having 900 customer companies worldwide, has been analyzing big data for R&D. It also expects to complete a second U.S. plant within this year in Pennsylvania, which will boost the company’s original development manufacturing (ODM) capability for global consumers.”Our consistent investment in R&D and market expansion has made our technologies dependable and trustworthy anywhere in the world,” a company official said. “We will expand from our existing global offices in North America, China, Vietnam and Singapore further to the Middle East and 메이저 Europe.”


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