The European cosmetics industry has returned to growth in 2014, with sales rising by +0.5% in value, according to figures from Cosmetics Europe, compared to a decrease of 1.4% in 2013.

click to enlarge

The European market retail size [1] is thus equivalent to 72.5 billion euros total, about one third of the global market. Germany remains the main market in Europe (13,12 billion euros), followed by France (10,58 billion euros), the United Kingdom (10,40 billion euros) and Italy (9,39 billion euros).

However, the four major European markets have recorded contrasted performances in 2014. While the United Kingdom grew by 5.3%, growth in Germany was limited to 1.6% and that of France to 0, 1%. By contrast, Italy remained in recession (-1.4%), as well as Spain (-1.3%).

With the exception of hair care products (-0.2%) all product categories have risen in value, with colour cosmetics (+ 1.2%) and toiletries (+ 1.3%) being the most dynamic.

click to enlarge

Skin care and toiletries remain the most important product categories in Europe, followed by hair care and fragrances.

click to enlarge

Eventually, regarding external trade, France remains the largest exporter of cosmetics, well ahead of Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy.

According to Cosmetics Europe, the European cosmetics and personal care industry employs approximately 1,700,000 people including 25,000 scientists. Over the past five years, the industry has been able to grow direct and indirect employment by 2.3% or more than 39.000 workplaces.