UK launch for cosmetics giant Marbert

Upmarket German cosmetics and skincare company Marbert is launching in the UK and has bought a majority stake in a British distributor.

The company has bought 51 per cent of the Fragrance Factory, which distributes scent brands including Fendi and Diesel in the UK.

Marbert’s cosmetics range, which starts at 7.50 for an eye pencil and rises to 80 for anti-ageing products, is scheduled to launch in the UK in August. It will be supported by press advertising, but the company has yet to decide on a budget.

From launch, it will be stocked in 50 branches of Lloyds Pharmacy and Bentall’s, and according to Fragrance Factory managing director Howard Shaughnassy, it will be rolled out to other department stores.

In 1997, Marbert’s sales totalled DM93.3m (31m), up 8.3 per cent on the previous year.

It was bought by a group of investors in 1995, when the company was making heavy losses. Marbert floated on the Frankfurt stock exchange last year, and has recently taken over distribution for Revlon in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

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