, PARIS, January 8- French cosmetics group L’Oreal said Wednesday it was halting the sale of its Garnier brand in China, the latest Western company to get cold feet over a chill in luxury sales.
In order to reinforce its leading position on the Chinese cosmetics market “the decision was taken to halt the commercialization of the Garnier brand in China,” the company said in an email to AFP.
L’Oreal said it would now focus on its L’Oreal Paris and Maybelline New York mass market brands in China, which have been enjoyed better sales there than Garnier.
The Garnier brand accounted for only slightly more than 1.0 percent of the 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) in sales that the L’Oreal group recorded in China in 2012, which made the French company the top player on the Chinese market with a 17 percent share.
Western companies believe that the beauty and personal health products market in China, which accounted for more than a quarter of luxury goods sales there, still has enormous potential.
However the sector has recently felt the chilling effect of a Chinese government clampdown on corruption, which often takes the form of bribes with luxury goods.
Sales growth of beauty and personal health products in China slid to 10 percent in 2013 compared to the 15 percent registered in 2012.
L’Oreal has not been the only company to reposition itself on the market, with its US competitor Revlon announcing at the end of the year that it was shutting down operations in China.
With more than 1,000 people killed since Morsi’s overthrow and thousands of Islamists arrested, the chances of political reconciliation in the Arab world’s most populous nation are ever more remote.
Morsi will also face separate trials on charges of espionage and colluding with militants to carry out attacks in Egypt.
He was catapulted from the underground offices of the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood to become Egypt’s first freely elected president in June 2012 following Mubarak’s overthrow in an early 2011 uprising.
But his single year in power was marred by political turmoil, deadly clashes and a crippling economic crisis.
In December 2012, members of the Muslim Brotherhood attacked opposition protesters camped outside the presidential palace in protest at a decree by Morsi to grant himself extra judicial powers.
At least seven people were killed in the clashes, and dozens of opposition protesters were detained and beaten by Morsi’s supporters.
The incident was a turning point in Morsi’s presidency, galvanising a disparate opposition that eventually organised mass protests in June 2013 that prompted the military to topple and detain him.
Morsi’s defence says there is no proof he incited the clashes, and that most of those killed in the violence were Brotherhood members.