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Coty posts wider-than-expected loss as virus-wary shoppers stay home

(Reuters) – Cosmetics maker Coty Inc on Thursday posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss and a 56% slump in sales, as demand for its beauty products took a hit from closures of stores and parlors during coronavirus lockdowns.

Shares of Coty, a majority of which is owned by German conglomerate JAB Holding Co, were down about 6% in premarket trade on Thursday and declined nearly 66% this year.

The company and its peers are also battling the closure of many channels of sales, including duty-free shops at airports, as well as contending with work-from-home customers seeking more skincare and haircare products than makeup items.

Sales at Coty’s consumer beauty segment, which houses brands such as Cover Girl and Max Factor, plunged about 55%.

Coty, however, said it had seen an improvement in its overall business in the last two months and expects a return to profit in the current quarter.

Net loss attributable to Coty narrowed to $772.8 million, or $1.01 per share, in the fourth quarter ended June 30, from about $2.8 billion, or $3.72 per share, last year.

Excluding items, Coty lost 51 cents per share, while analysts on average were projecting a loss of 12 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net revenue fell on a reported basis to $922.1 million, missing analysts’ estimates of $1.34 billion.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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