【英语中国】Lex专栏:消费品公司纷纷撤出中国 Lex_L’Oréal

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所属分类:双语中国

2014-1-10 08:51

小艾摘要: L’Oréal is pulling its Garnier brand out of China. Good. Last week Revlon said it would leave the country altogether, incurring a $22m charge. Also good. And they are not the only consumer companies ...
Lex_L’Oréal
L’Oréal is pulling its Garnier brand out of China. Good. Last week Revlon said it would leave the country altogether, incurring a $22m charge. Also good. And they are not the only consumer companies taking a more sceptical view of China.

Last year UK retailer Tesco put its Chinese business into a joint venture with a local partner rather than go it alone. And Germany’s Metro closed its Media Saturn electronics stores in the country.

For too long all China investment has been seen as good investment. There is a map doing the rounds on the internet with a circle drawn around India, China and southeast Asia: more people live inside the circle than outside. Companies that led the charge into these markets (such as Unilever) have seen their share prices rise. Those perceived as slow to enter (such as Procter & Gamble) have underperformed.

This has been more about perception than profits. The US’s Home Depot and the UK’s B&Q failed to create a DIY market in China, for example. Those that have managed revenues have seen profits squeezed by competition. According to Bernstein Research, China makes up 71 per cent of Asian beer volumes, but 17 per cent of profits.

That does not mean brewers should abandon China. A small margin on a big revenue number can still equal a big profit. But it does mean all consumer-facing companies, be they retailers or manufacturers, need to be more selective about what is in reality a collection of markets.

They also need to be more upfront with their investors about what China does and does not mean. Not one of Walmart, Unilever, Nestlé and P&G – to take four large consumer groups at random – details how much profit is made in China. There should be more coming out of China than sales growth numbers.

欧莱雅(L’Oréal)正将旗下的卡尼尔(Garnier)品牌撤出中国市场,很好。上周,露华浓(Revlon)表示将全面撤出中国市场,这将产生2200万美元的支出,也不错。它们仅是对中国市场加深怀疑的消费品公司的代表。

去年,英国零售商乐购(Tesco)将其中国业务变成一家与本土合作伙伴组建的合资公司,而不是独立开展业务。德国的麦德龙(Metro)关闭了其在中国的Media Saturn电子产品卖场。

长久以来,进入中国市场的投资都被视为好投资。网上流传着一张地图,围绕印度、中国和东南亚画了一个圆圈:在圆圈里面生活的人多于外面。率先进军这些市场的公司(例如联合利华(Unilever)的股价一路上涨。而那些被认为进军步伐缓慢的公司(例如宝洁(Procter & Gamble)则股价表现不佳。

但这更多是一种感性认识,而非利润理性。例如,美国的家得宝(Home Depot)和英国的百安居(B&Q)都未能在中国缔造一个DIY市场。而那些成功获利的公司却发现其利润因为竞争而受到挤压。根据伯恩斯坦研究公司(Bernstein Research)的数据,中国占亚洲啤酒销量的71%,却仅占利润的17%。

这并不意味着酿酒商应放弃中国。即便利润率较低,但收入巨大也能产生可观利润。但这确实意味着,所有面向消费者的公司,不管是零售商还是制造商,在进入中国市场时都应更有选择性,因为中国实际上是一个市场的集合。

这些公司还需要对投资者更明确地说明中国意味着什么和不意味着什么。信手挑选四家大型消费品集团,比如沃尔玛(Walmart)、联合利华、雀巢(Nestlé)和宝洁,他们没有一家详细公布了在中国取得的利润。除了销售增长数据,还应有更多关于中国市场的数据得到公布。

Lex专栏是由FT评论家联合撰写的短评,对全球经济与商业进行精辟分析

译者/梁艳裳

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