Tie-up: Actress Reese Witherspoon has partnered with Elizabeth Arden

Tie-up: Actress Reese Witherspoon has partnered with Elizabeth Arden

Cosmetics maker Elizabeth Arden saw profits plunge by 80 per cent at its UK business last year.

The group, which started as a New York salon on Fifth Avenue in 1910, made £435,000 in Britain in 2022, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

This was down from £2.2 million in 2021, when costs were lower and it received about £700,000 in taxpayer-funded furlough cash. Elizabeth Arden sells skincare, perfume and make-up online and in High Street shops such as Boots. It had 177 UK employees last year.

The brand was handed a Royal Warrant by Queen Elizabeth, meaning it was a recognised supplier to the Royal household.

Elizabeth Arden was set up by Canadian-American businesswoman Florence Nightingale Graham. She is widely credited with popularising the skincare industry – particularly face cream – and for a time was one of the wealthiest women in the world. 

The brand’s celebrity ambassadors have included actresses Catherine Zeta-Jones and Reese Witherspoon.

Elizabeth Arden has also owned the licences for celebrity fragrances, such as those made by Britney Spears, Elizabeth Taylor, Mariah Carey and Taylor Swift.

The company has changed hands several times, with previous owners including consumer goods giant Unilever. It is now part of Revlon, which bought Elizabeth Arden for £611 million in 2016. 

Revlon’s future was thrown into doubt last year when it was placed into a type of bankruptcy arrangement in the US called Chapter 11. It survived by significantly restructuring itself and is now owned by many of its former creditors.

Beauty and cosmetics companies suffered across the world during the lockdowns of the pandemic.

Sales of usually-popular products such as lipstick nosedived while people worked from home, but they have broadly improved since restrictions were lifted.

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