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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2020
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                    TO          
COMMISSION FILE NUMBER001-35964
COTY INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware13-3823358
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)
350 Fifth Avenue,
New York,NY10118
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
(212) 389-7300
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
Title of each classTrading symbolName of each exchange on which registered
Class A Common Stock, $0.01 par valueCOTYThe New York Stock Exchange
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  ý No  o 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes      No  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes   No  o 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.     Yes ý      No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).     Yes ý      No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerýAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filero
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.   o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).     Yes      No ý
As of December 31, 2019, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s Class A Common Stock held by non-affiliates was $3.2 billion based on the number of shares held by non-affiliates as of December 31, 2019 and the last reported sale price of the registrant’s Class A Common Stock on December 31, 2019.
At August 20, 2020, 765,080,968 shares of the registrant’s Class A Common Stock, $0.01 par value were outstanding.




COTY INC.
INDEX TO ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

Page




Forward-looking Statements
Certain statements in this Form 10-K are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, the impact of COVID-19 and potential recovery scenarios, the Company’s Transformation Plan (as defined below), strategic planning, targets, segment reporting and outlook for future reporting periods (including the extent and timing of revenue, expense and profit trends and changes in operating cash flows and cash flows from operating activities and investing activities), the sale of the Professional and Retail Hair business, including the Wella, Clairol, OPI and ghd brands (the “Wella Business”) and the investment by Rainbow UK Bidco Limited ((“KKR Bidco”) an affiliate of funds and/or separately managed accounts advised and/or managed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and its affiliates (collectively, “KKR”)) in connection with the standalone business (the “Wella Transaction”), including timing of the Wella Transaction and the use of proceeds from the Wella Transaction, the Company’s future operations and strategy, ongoing and future cost efficiency and restructuring initiatives and programs, strategic transactions (including their expected timing and impact), the Company’s capital allocation strategy and payment of dividends (including suspension of dividend payments and the duration thereof), investments, licenses and portfolio changes, synergies, savings, performance, cost, timing and integration of acquisitions, including the King Kylie Transaction and the announced pending transaction with Kim Kardashian West, future cash flows, liquidity and borrowing capacity, timing and size of cash outflows and debt deleveraging, the availability of local government funding or reimbursement programs in connection with COVID-19 (including expected timing and amounts), the timing and extent of any future impairments, and synergies, savings, impact, cost, timing and implementation of the Company’s Transformation Plan, including operational and organizational structure changes, operational execution and simplification initiatives, fixed cost reductions, supply chain changes, e-commerce and digital initiatives, and the priorities of senior management. These forward-looking statements are generally identified by words or phrases, such as “anticipate”, “are going to”, “estimate”, “plan”, “project”, “expect”, “believe”, “intend”, “foresee”, “forecast”, “will”, “may”, “should”, “outlook”, “continue”, “temporary”, “target”, “aim”, “potential”, “goal” and similar words or phrases. These statements are based on certain assumptions and estimates that we consider reasonable, but are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual events or results (including our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and prospects) to differ materially from such statements, including risks and uncertainties relating to:
the impact of COVID-19 (or future similar events), including demand for the Company’s products, illness, quarantines, government actions, facility closures, store closures or other restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extent and duration thereof, related impact on our ability to meet customer needs and on the ability of third parties on which we rely, including our suppliers, customers, contract manufacturers, distributors, contractors, commercial banks, joint-venture partners, to meet their obligations to us, in particular collections from customers, the extent that government funding and reimbursement programs in connection with COVID-19 are available to us, and the ability to successfully implement measures to respond to such impacts;
our ability to successfully implement our multi-year Transformation Plan, including our management realignment, reporting structure changes, operational and organizational changes, and the initiatives to further reduce our cost base, and to develop and achieve our global business strategies (including mix management, select price increases, more disciplined promotions, and foregoing low value sales), compete effectively in the beauty industry and achieve the benefits contemplated by our strategic initiatives (including revenue growth, cost control, gross margin growth and debt deleveraging) within the expected time frame or at all;
the timing, costs and impacts of the Wella Transaction or other divestitures, and the amount and use of proceeds from any such transactions;
our ability to successfully implement the separation of the Wella Business;
our ability to anticipate, gauge and respond to market trends and consumer preferences, which may change rapidly, and the market acceptance of new products, including new products related to Kylie Jenner’s existing beauty business, any relaunched or rebranded products and the anticipated costs and discounting associated with such relaunches and rebrands, and consumer receptiveness to our current and future marketing philosophy and consumer engagement activities (including digital marketing and media);
use of estimates and assumptions in preparing our financial statements, including with regard to revenue recognition, income taxes (including the expected timing and amount of the release of any tax valuation allowance), the assessment of goodwill, other intangible and long-lived assets for impairments, the market value of inventory, and the fair value of acquired assets and liabilities associated with acquisitions;
the impact of any future impairments;
managerial, transformational, operational, regulatory, legal and financial risks, including diversion of management attention to and management of cash flows, expenses and costs associated with the Company's response to COVID-19,



the Transformation Plan, the Wella Transaction and related transition services, the integration of the King Kylie Transaction, and future strategic initiatives, and, in particular, our ability to manage and execute many initiatives simultaneously including any resulting complexity, employee attrition or diversion of resources;
future divestitures and the impact thereof on, and future acquisitions (including the pending transaction with Kim Kardashian West), new licenses and joint ventures and the integration thereof with, our business, operations, systems, financial data and culture and the ability to realize synergies, avoid future supply chain and other business disruptions, reduce costs (including through our cash efficiency initiatives), avoid liabilities and realize potential efficiencies and benefits (including through our restructuring initiatives) at the levels and at the costs and within the time frames contemplated or at all;
increased competition, consolidation among retailers, shifts in consumers’ preferred distribution and marketing channels (including to digital and prestige channels), distribution and shelf-space resets or reductions, compression of go-to-market cycles, changes in product and marketing requirements by retailers, reductions in retailer inventory levels and order lead-times or changes in purchasing patterns, impact from COVID-19 on retail revenues, and other changes in the retail, e-commerce and wholesale environment in which we do business and sell our products and our ability to respond to such changes;
our and our joint ventures’, business partners’ and licensors’ abilities to obtain, maintain and protect the intellectual property used in our and their respective businesses, protect our and their respective reputations (including those of our and their executives or influencers) and public goodwill, and defend claims by third parties for infringement of intellectual property rights;
any change to our capital allocation and/or cash management priorities, including any change in our dividend policy or, if our Board declares dividends, our stock dividend reinvestment program (the “Stock Dividend Reinvestment Program”);
any unanticipated problems, liabilities or integration or other challenges associated with a past or future acquired business, joint ventures or strategic partnerships which could result in increased risk or new, unanticipated or unknown liabilities, including with respect to environmental, competition and other regulatory, compliance or legal matters;
our international operations and joint ventures, including enforceability and effectiveness of our joint venture agreements and reputational, compliance, regulatory, economic and foreign political risks, including difficulties and costs associated with maintaining compliance with a broad variety of complex local and international regulations;
our dependence on certain licenses (especially in the fragrance category) and our ability to renew expiring licenses on favorable terms or at all;
our dependence on entities performing outsourced functions, including outsourcing of distribution functions, and third-party manufacturers, logistics and supply chain suppliers, and other suppliers, including third-party software providers;
administrative, product development and other difficulties in meeting the expected timing of market expansions, product launches and marketing efforts
global political and/or economic uncertainties, disruptions or major regulatory or policy changes, and/or the enforcement thereof that affect our business, financial performance, operations or products, including the impact of Brexit (and business or market disruption arising from a “hard Brexit”), the current U.S. administration and upcoming election, changes in the U.S. tax code, and recent changes and future changes in tariffs, retaliatory or trade protection measures, trade policies and other international trade regulations in the U.S., the European Union and Asia and in other regions where we operate;
currency exchange rate volatility and currency devaluation;
the number, type, outcomes (by judgment, order or settlement) and costs of current or future legal, compliance, tax, regulatory or administrative proceedings, investigations and/or litigation, including litigation relating to the tender offer by Cottage Holdco B.V. (the “Cottage Tender Offer”) and product liability cases (including asbestos);
our ability to manage seasonal factors and other variability and to anticipate future business trends and needs;
disruptions in operations, sales and in other areas, including due to disruptions in our supply chain, restructurings and other business alignment activities, the Wella Transaction and related carve-out and transition activities, manufacturing or information technology systems, labor disputes, extreme weather and natural disasters, impact from COVID-19 or similar global public health events, and the impact of such disruptions on our ability to generate profits, stabilize or grow revenues or cash flows, comply with our contractual obligations and accurately forecast demand and supply needs and/or future results;



restrictions imposed on us through our license agreements, credit facilities and senior unsecured bonds or other material contracts, our ability to generate cash flow to repay, refinance or recapitalize debt and otherwise comply with our debt instruments, and changes in the manner in which we finance our debt and future capital needs;
increasing dependency on information technology, including as a result of remote working in response to COVID-19, and our ability to protect against service interruptions, data corruption, cyber-based attacks or network security breaches, costs and timing of implementation and effectiveness of any upgrades or other changes to information technology systems, and the cost of compliance or our failure to comply with any privacy or data security laws (including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), the California Consumer Privacy Act and the Brazil General Data Protection Law) or to protect against theft of customer, employee and corporate sensitive information;
our ability to attract and retain key personnel and the impact of senior management transitions and organizational structure changes;
the distribution and sale by third parties of counterfeit and/or gray market versions of our products;
the impact of our Transformation Plan as well as the Wella Transaction on our relationships with key customers and suppliers and certain material contracts;
our relationship with Cottage Holdco B.V., as our majority stockholder, and its affiliates, and any related conflicts of interest or litigation;
our relationship with KKR, whose affiliates KKR Aggregator (defined below) and KKR Bidco are respectively a significant stockholder in Coty and an investor in the Wella Business, and any related conflicts of interest or litigation;
future sales of a significant number of shares by our majority stockholder or the perception that such sales could occur; and
other factors described elsewhere in this document and in documents that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) from time to time.
When used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the term “includes” and “including” means, unless the context otherwise indicates, including without limitation. More information about potential risks and uncertainties that could affect our business and financial results is included under the heading “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and other periodic reports we have filed and may file with the SEC from time to time.
All forward-looking statements made in this document are qualified by these cautionary statements. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this document, and we do not undertake any obligation, other than as may be required by applicable law, to update or revise any forward-looking or cautionary statements to reflect changes in assumptions, the occurrence of events, unanticipated or otherwise, or changes in future operating results over time or otherwise.
Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance unless expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.
Industry, Ranking and Market Data
Unless otherwise indicated, information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K concerning our industry and the markets in which we operate, including our general expectations about our industry, market position, market opportunity and market size, is based on data from various sources including internal data and estimates as well as third party sources widely available to the public such as independent industry publications, government publications, reports by market research firms or other published independent sources and on our assumptions based on that data and other similar sources. We did not fund and are not otherwise affiliated with the third party sources that we cite. Industry publications and other published sources generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from third-party sources believed to be reliable. Internal data and estimates are based upon information obtained from trade and business organizations and other contacts in the markets in which we operate and management’s understanding of industry conditions, and such information has not been verified by any independent sources. This data involves a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to such estimates. While we believe the market, industry and other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to be the most recently available and to be generally reliable, such information is inherently imprecise and we have not independently verified any third-party information or verified that more recent information is not available.
Our fiscal year ends on June 30. Unless otherwise noted, any reference to a year preceded by the word “fiscal” refers to the fiscal year ended June 30 of that year. For example, references to “fiscal 2020” refer to the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020. Any reference to a year not preceded by “fiscal” refers to a calendar year.



PART I
Item 1. Business.
Overview
Coty Inc. is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with a rich entrepreneurial heritage and an iconic portfolio of brands across fragrance, color cosmetics, hair color and styling, and skin and body care. Founded in 1904, Coty has grown into a multi-segment beauty company with market leading positions in both North America and Europe. Through targeted strategic transactions, we have strengthened and diversified our presence across the countries, categories and channels in which we compete, building a strong beauty platform. The recent King Kylie transaction and the pending transaction with Kim Kardashian West complement our existing portfolio. As we continue to transform our Company, we are focused on the fragrance, color cosmetics and skin care categories, in both our prestige and mass beauty businesses.
Following a strategic review, we announced, on June 1, 2020, the entry into a definitive agreement with Rainbow UK Bidco Limited (“KKR Bidco”) (an affiliate of funds and/or separately managed accounts (“KKR Funds”) advised and/or managed by Kolberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and its affiliates (“KKR”)), regarding a strategic transaction (the “Wella Transaction”) for the sale of Coty’s Professional and Retail Hair business, including the Wella, Clairol, OPI and ghd brands (together, “Wella Business”). Pursuant to a related separation agreement (the “Separation Agreement”), the Wella Business will be separated from Coty as a stand-alone, separately managed business, of which KKR Funds will own approximately 60% and Coty will own the remaining approximately 40%. As part of the separation, through a separate transitional service agreement and related agreements to be entered into at closing of the sale (the “Wella TSA”), Coty will provide ongoing financial, distribution, operations and other services for the Wella Business, in certain cases for up to 24 months following the closing of the sale, subject to an extension for a period of up to three months for certain transition services. In addition, KKR Rainbow Aggregator L.P. (“KKR Aggregator”) (an affiliate of KKR Funds) has in a separate transaction invested an aggregate of $1 billion directly into Coty through the issuance of convertible preferred stock. Assuming full conversion of these shares of convertible preferred stock and no other changes in capitalization, JABC would remain Coty’s largest shareholder, with approximately 50% ownership in the Company. KKR Aggregator would be the second largest shareholder, with an approximate 17% stake. The Wella Business is presented in our financial statements as discontinued operations. Unless otherwise noted, the discussion in this Annual Report only focuses on results of continuing operations.
Building on the multi-year turnaround plan launched in July 2019 (the “Turnaround Plan”), we are implementing a comprehensive transformation agenda (the “Transformation Plan”) which aims to stabilize and gradually accelerate revenue growth, improve our profitability through gross margin growth and cost control, optimize our operating model for speed and agility, accelerate e-commerce and digital growth, and deleverage our balance sheet. In 2020, we made organizational changes to reduce geographic fragmentation and costs. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in May 2020, we expanded the Turnaround Plan to implement a 25% reduction of our cost base, which does not vary with revenues, by the end of fiscal 2023, including reprioritizing projects providing larger cost reduction benefits, organizational restructuring, an adaptation of our supply network and organization as well as a reduction of certain discretionary expenses. We are continually reviewing ways to accelerate and amplify the transformation of the Company, including through the implementation of additional initiatives in connection with our Transformation Plan.
All dollar amounts in the following discussion are in millions of United States (“U.S.”) dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
Segments
Operating and reportable segments (referred to as “segments”) reflect the way the Company is managed and for which separate financial information is available and evaluated regularly by the Company’s chief operating decision makers (“CODM”) in deciding how to allocate resources and assess performance. The Company has designated its Chief Executive Officer as the CODM.
In connection with our Turnaround Plan, the Company's CODM changed the reporting structure used to allocate resources from the previous category focused organizational structure that included three operating and reportable segments: Luxury, Consumer Beauty and Professional Beauty, to a structure based on regional commercial business units. These changes were implemented during the three months ended March 31, 2020.
For segment financial information and information about our long-lived assets, see Note 5— Segment Reporting in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements, and for information about recent acquisitions or dispositions, see Note 4—Business Combinations, Asset Acquisitions and Divestitures in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
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Brands 
The following chart reflects our iconic brand portfolio:

Mass BeautyPrestigeProfessional Beauty
AdidasAlexander McQueenClairol Professional*, **
BeckhamBurberryghd (good hair day)*, **
Biocolor*Bottega VenetaKadus Professional*, **
Bozzano*Calvin KleinLonda Professional*, **
Bourjois*CavalliNioxin*, **
Bruno BananiChloeO P I*, **
Clairol*, **DavidoffSassoon Professional, **
CoverGirl*Escada*Sebastian*, **
EnriqueGucciSystem Professional*, **
Jovan*Hugo BossWella Professional*, **
Max Factor*Jil SanderWeDo Professional*, **
MexxJoop!*
Monange*Kylie Jenner
NauticaLacoste
Paixao*Lancaster*
Rimmel*Marc Jacobs
Risque*Miu Miu
Sally Hansen*Nikos
Stetsonphilosophy*
Wella*, **Tiffany & Co.
007 James Bond
* Indicates an owned beauty brand.
** Indicates brand included in Wella Transaction
Marketing
We have a diverse portfolio of over 75 brands (including brands associated with the Wella Business which will be transferred to the standalone entity in the Wella Transaction), some owned and some licensed, and we employ different models to create a distinct image and personality suited to each brand’s equity, distribution, product focus and consumer. For our licensed brands, we work with licensors to promote brand image. Each of our brands is promoted with logos, packaging and advertising designed to enhance its image and the uniqueness of each brand. We manage our creative marketing work through a combination of our in-house teams and external agencies that design and produce the sales materials, social media strategies, advertisements and packaging for products in each brand.
We promote our brands through various channels to reach and engage beauty consumers, through traditional media, through in-store and in-salon displays, on digital and social media, and through collaborations, product placements and events. In addition, we seek editorial coverage for products and brands in both traditional media and digital and social media to drive influencer amplification and to build brand equity. We also leverage our relationships with celebrities and on-line influencers to endorse certain of our products. Our marketing efforts benefit from cooperative advertising programs with retailers, often in connection with in-store marketing activities designed to engage consumers so that they try, or purchase, our products, including sampling and “gift-with-purchase” programs designed to stimulate product trials.
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We have dedicated marketing and sales forces in most of our significant markets. These teams leverage local insights to strategically promote our brands and product offerings and tailor our creative marketing to fit local tastes and resonate with consumers most effectively.
We utilize in-depth brand and market data analytics to develop branding, merchandising and marketing execution strategies to maximize the consumer experience and build a better business. We have begun to shift working media resources to a select number of brand/country combinations, which we believe represents a significant opportunity for revenue and gross margin improvement, and to implement a tactical, in-store strategy for the others.
Distribution Channels and Retail Sales
We market, sell and distribute our products in over 150 countries and territories, with dedicated local sales forces in most of our significant markets. We have a balanced multi-channel distribution strategy which complements our product categories. Our mass beauty brands are primarily sold through hypermarkets, supermarkets, drug stores and pharmacies, mid-tier department stores, traditional food and drug retailers, and dedicated e-commerce retailers. The prestige products are primarily sold through prestige retailers, including perfumeries, department stores, e-retailers, direct-to-consumer websites and duty-free shops. The Professional Beauty division primarily sells products to nail and hair salons, nail and hair professionals and professionals’ stores, through both direct sales forces and e-commerce platforms. Due to the impact of COVID-19, we have focused on expanding our e-commerce and direct-to-consumer channels. We also sell our products through third-party distributors. In fiscal 2020, no retailer accounted for more than 10% of our global net revenues; however, certain retailers accounted for more than 10% of net revenues within certain geographic markets and segments. In fiscal 2020, Walmart, our top retailer, accounted for approximately 7% of total Coty Inc. net revenues from continuing operations.
Innovation
Innovation is a pillar of our business. We innovate through brand-building and new product lines, as well as through new technology. Our research and development teams work with our marketing and operations teams to identify recent trends and consumer needs and to bring products quickly to market.
We are continuously innovating to increase our sales by elevating our digital presence, including e-commerce and digital, social media and influencer marketing designed to build brand equity and consumer engagement. We have also focused our efforts on meeting evolving consumer shopping preferences and behaviors, both on-line and in-store. We have introduced new ways to customize the consumer experience, including using artificial intelligence-powered tools to provide personalized advice on selecting and using products, and augmented reality tools that invite customers to virtually try products with curated looks, tutorials and product recommendations.
In addition, we continuously seek to improve our products through research and development. Our basic and applied research groups, which conduct longer-term and “blue sky” research, seek to develop proprietary new technologies for first-to-market products and for improving existing products. This research and development is done both internally and through affiliations with various universities, technical centers, supply partners, industry associations and technical associations. A number of our products incorporate patented, patent-pending or proprietary technology. In addition, several of our products and/or packaging for our products are covered by design rights protections.
Our principal research and development centers are located in the U.S. and Europe. See “\Item 2—. Properties.”
We do not perform, nor do we commission any third parties on our behalf to perform, testing of our products or ingredients on animals except where required by law.
Supply Chain
During fiscal year 2020, we continued to manufacture and package approximately 80% of our products (including the Wella Business products), primarily in facilities located in the United States, various countries in Europe including Russia, Brazil, China, Mexico and Thailand. We recognize the importance of our employees at our manufacturing facilities and have in place programs designed to ensure operating safety. In addition, we implement programs designed to ensure that our manufacturing and distribution facilities comply with applicable environmental rules and regulations. To capitalize on innovation and other supply chain benefits, we continue to utilize a network of third-party manufacturers on a global basis who produce approximately 20% of our finished products. As part of our ongoing Transformation Plan, we are exploring options to further optimize our supply chain operations.
The principal raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are primarily essential oils, alcohols and specialty chemicals. The essential oils in our fragrance products are generally sourced from fragrance houses. As a result, we realize material cost savings and benefits from the technology, innovation and resources provided by these fragrance houses.
We purchase the raw materials for all our products from various third parties. We also purchase packaging components that are manufactured to our design specifications. We collaborate with our suppliers to meet our stringent design and creative criteria. We believe that we currently have adequate sources of supply for all our products.
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We have experienced disruptions in our supply chain from time to time, including in connection with our past restructuring efforts, and we work to anticipate and respond to actual and potential disruptions.
Competition
There is significant competition within each market where our products are sold. We compete against manufacturers and marketers of beauty products, hair care, salon professional and personal care products. In addition to the established multinational brands against which we compete, small targeted niche brands continue to enter the beauty market. We also have competition from private label products sold by retailers.
We believe that we compete primarily on the basis of perceived value, including pricing and innovation, product efficacy, service to the consumer, promotional activities, advertising, special events, new product introductions, e-commerce initiatives, direct sales and other activities (including influencers). It is difficult for us to predict the timing, scale and effectiveness of our competitors’ actions in these areas or the timing and impact of new entrants into the marketplace. For additional risks associated with our competitive position, see “Risk Factors—The beauty industry is highly competitive, and if we are unable to compete effectively, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation could suffer”.
Intellectual Property
We generally own or license the trademark rights in key sales countries in Trademark International Class 3 (covering cosmetics and perfumery) for use in connection with our brands. When we license trademark rights we generally enter into long-term licenses, and we are generally the exclusive trademark licensee for all Class 3 trademarks as used in connection with our products. We or our licensors, as the case may be, actively protect the trademarks used in our principal products in the U.S. and significant markets worldwide. We consider the protection of our trademarks to be essential to our business.
A number of our products also incorporate patented, patent-pending or proprietary technology in their respective formulations and/or packaging, and in some cases our product packaging is subject to copyright, trade dress or design protection. While we consider our patents and copyrights, and the protection thereof, to be important, no single patent or copyright, or group of related patents or copyrights, is material to the conduct of our business.
Products representing 59% of our fiscal 2020 net revenues from continuing operations are manufactured and marketed under exclusive license agreements granted to us for use on a worldwide and/or regional basis. As of June 30, 2020, we maintained 27 brand licenses.
Our licenses impose obligations and restrictions on us that we believe are common to many licensing relationships in the beauty industry, such as paying annual royalties on net sales of the licensed products, maintaining the quality of the licensed products and the image of the applicable trademarks, achievement of minimum sales levels, promotion of sales and qualifications and behavior of our suppliers, distributors and retailers. We believe that we are currently in material compliance with the terms of our material brand license agreements.
Most brand licenses have renewal options for one or more terms, which can range from two to ten years. Certain brand licenses provide for automatic extensions, so long as minimum annual royalty payments are made, while renewal of others is contingent upon attaining specified sales levels or upon agreement of the licensor. Five of our brand licenses are up for renewal during fiscal 2021, of which only four license renewals require licensor approval and together accounted for less than 2% of fiscal 2020 revenues from continuing operations. Additionally, none of our top 9 licenses expire within the next five years, other than one with an automatic renewal that is not contingent upon licensor consent nor specified sales levels.. For additional risks associated with our licensing arrangements, see “Risk Factors—Our brand licenses may be terminated if specified conditions are not met, and we may not be able to renew expiring licenses on favorable terms or at all” and “Risk Factors—Our failure to protect our reputation, or the failure of our partners or brand licensors to protect their reputations, could have a material adverse effect on our brand images”.
Employees
As of June 30, 2020, we had approximately 18,260 full-time employees in over 46 countries, including approximately 5,900 employees of the Wella Business. In addition, we typically employ a large number of seasonal contractors during our peak manufacturing and promotional season. During fiscal year 2020, we adjusted our workforce through furlough or other reduction as we implemented our response to COVID-19. We expect our overall headcount, as well as the use of seasonal contractors, to decrease as we continue our efforts to restructure and rationalize our business in connection with our Transformation Plan.
Our employees in the U.S. are not covered by collective bargaining agreements. Our employees in certain countries in Europe are subject to works council arrangements and collective bargaining agreements. We have not experienced a material strike or work stoppage in the U.S. or any other country where we have a significant number of employees.
We recognize the importance of our employees to our business and believe our relationship with our employees is satisfactory.
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Government Regulation
We and our products are subject to regulation by various U.S. federal regulatory agencies as well as by various state and local regulatory authorities and by the applicable regulatory authorities in the countries in which our products are produced or sold. Such regulations principally relate to the ingredients, labeling, manufacturing, packaging, advertising and marketing and sales and distribution of our products. Because we have commercial operations overseas, we are also subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”) as well as other countries’ anti-corruption and anti-bribery regimes, such as the U.K. Bribery Act.
We are subject to numerous foreign, federal, provincial, state, municipal and local environmental, health and safety laws and regulations relating to, among other matters, safe working conditions, product stewardship and environmental protection, including those relating to emissions to the air, discharges to land and surface waters, generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous substances and waste materials, and the registration and evaluation of chemicals. We maintain policies and procedures to monitor and control environmental, health and safety risks, and to monitor compliance with applicable environmental, health and safety requirements. Compliance with such laws and regulations pertaining to the discharge of materials into the environment, or otherwise relating to the protection of the environment, has not had a material effect upon our capital expenditures, earnings or competitive position. However, environmental and social responsibility laws and regulations have tended to become increasingly stringent and, to the extent regulatory changes occur in the future, they could result in, among other things, increased costs and risks of non-compliance for us. For example, certain states in the U.S., such as California, and the U.S. Congress have proposed legislation relating to chemical disclosure and other requirements related to the content of our products. For more information, see “Risk Factors—Changes in laws, regulations and policies that affect our business or products could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.”
Seasonality
The Company’s sales generally increase during the second fiscal quarter as a result of increased demand associated with the winter holiday season. Financial performance, working capital requirements, sales, cash flows and borrowings generally experience variability during the three to six months preceding the holiday season. Product innovations, new product launches and the size and timing of orders from the Company’s customers may also result in variability. The Wella Business also generally experiences an increase in sales during its fourth fiscal quarter as a result of higher demand prior to the summer holiday season. However, the mix of product sales can vary considerably as a result of changes in seasonal and geographic demand for particular types of products, as well as other macroeconomic, operating and logistics-related factors, as evidenced by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Availability of Reports
We make available financial information, news releases and other information on our website at www.coty.com. There is a direct link from our website to our SEC filings via the EDGAR database at www.sec.gov, where our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we file such reports and amendments with, or furnish them to, the SEC. Stockholders may also contact Investor Relations at 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10118 or call 212-389-7300 to obtain hard copies of these filings without charge.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
You should consider the following risks and uncertainties and all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and our other filings in connection with evaluating our business and the forward-looking information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our business and financial results may also be adversely affected by risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial. If any of the events contemplated by the following discussion of risks should occur or other risks arise or develop, our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities, may be materially and adversely affected. When used in this discussion, the term “includes” and “including” means, unless the context otherwise indicates, including without limitation and the terms “Coty,” the “Company,” “we,” “our,” or “us” mean, unless the context otherwise indicates, Coty Inc. and its majority and wholly-owned subsidiaries.
Our operations and sales have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we must successfully manage the demand, supply, operational and financial challenges associated with the actual or perceived effects of COVID-19 and the related widespread public health crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having widespread, rapidly evolving, and unpredictable impacts on global society, economies, financial markets, and business practices. Our business has been, and may continue to be, negatively impacted by the fear of exposure to or actual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in countries where we operate or our customers are located, such as reduced travel or recommendations or mandates from governmental authorities to avoid large gatherings or to self-quarantine,
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as well as temporary closures of our facilities or the facilities of our customers or suppliers. These impacts include, but are not limited to:
Significant reductions in demand or significant volatility in demand for one or more of our products, which may be caused by, among other things: the temporary inability of consumers to purchase our products due to illness, quarantine or other travel restrictions, store closures, or financial hardship, shifts in demand away from one or more of our more discretionary or higher priced products to lower priced products, or stockpiling or similar activity, supply chain and shipping constraints, reduced options for marketing and promotion of products or other restrictions in connection with COVID-19; if prolonged, such impacts can further increase the difficulty of operating our business, including accurately planning and forecasting, and may adversely impact our results;
Inability to meet our customers’ needs and achieve costs targets due to disruptions in our manufacturing and supply arrangements caused by the loss or disruption of essential manufacturing and supply elements such as raw materials or other finished product components, transportation, workforce, or other manufacturing and distribution capability, or the allocation of manufacturing capacity towards medical supplies such as hydro-alcoholic gel (which is used as hand sanitizer);
Failure of third parties on which we rely, including our suppliers, our customers, contract manufacturers, distributors, contractors, commercial banks, joint venture partners and external business partners, to meet their obligations to the Company or to timely meet those obligations, or significant disruptions in their ability to do so, which may be caused by their own financial or operational difficulties and may adversely impact our operations; or
Significant changes in the political conditions in markets in which we manufacture, sell or distribute our products, including quarantines, governmental or regulatory actions, closures or other restrictions that limit or close our operating and manufacturing facilities, restrict our employees’ ability to travel or perform necessary business functions, restrict or prevent consumers from having access to our products, or otherwise prevent our third-party partners, suppliers, or customers from sufficiently staffing operations, including operations necessary for the production, distribution, sale, and support of our products, which could adversely impact our results.
These impacts have had and could continue to have a negative effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities, and the duration and extent to which our future results of operations and overall financial performance will be impacted remains uncertain. In light of the adverse impact on our near-term revenues, earnings, liquidity and cash flows, we have taken and expect to continue to implement measures to reduce discretionary expenses and manage costs. See the discussion on our response to COVID-19 in Item 2 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations— Overviewand “—Liquidity and Capital Resources. These measures may not achieve results in accordance with our expectations or on the timelines we anticipate. Despite our efforts to manage and remedy these impacts to the Company, their ultimate impact also depends on factors beyond our knowledge or control, including the duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as third-party actions taken to contain its spread and mitigate its public health effects.
The beauty industry is highly competitive, and if we are unable to compete effectively, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could suffer.
The beauty industry is highly competitive and can change rapidly due to consumer preferences and industry trends, such as the expansion of digital channels, new “disruptor” trendy brands and advances in technology. Competition in the beauty industry is based on several factors, including pricing, value and quality, product efficacy, packaging and brands, speed or quality of innovation and new product introductions, in-store presence and visibility, promotional activities (including influencers) and brand recognition, distribution channels, advertising, editorials and adaption to evolving technology and device trends, including via e-commerce initiatives.
Our competitors include large multinational consumer products companies, private label brands and emerging companies, among others, and some have greater resources than we do or may be able to respond more quickly or effectively to changing business and economic conditions than we can. It is difficult for us to predict the timing and scale of our competitors’ actions and their impact on the industry or on our business. For example, the fragrance category is being influenced by new product introductions, niche brands and growing e-commerce distribution. The color cosmetics category has been influenced by entry by new competitors and smaller competitors that are fast to respond to trends and engage with their customers through digital platforms and innovative in-store activations. In addition, the hair color category is being influenced by new product introductions in the premium category and innovations by competitors to meet growing category needs. Furthermore, the Internet and the online retail industry are characterized by rapid technological evolution, changes in consumer requirements and preferences, frequent introductions of new products and services embodying new technologies and the emergence of new industry standards and practices, any of which could render our existing technologies and systems obsolete. Our success will depend, in part, on our ability to identify, develop, acquire or license leading technologies useful in our business, and respond to technological advances and emerging industry standards and practices in a cost-effective and timely way. If we are unable to
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compete effectively on a global basis or in our key product categories or geographies, it could have an adverse impact on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Further consolidation in the retail industry and shifting preferences in how and where consumers shop, including to e-commerce, may adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Significant consolidation in the retail industry has occurred during the last several years. The trend toward consolidation, particularly in developed markets such as the U.S. and Western Europe, has resulted in our becoming increasingly dependent on our relationships with, and the overall business health of, fewer key retailers that control an increasing percentage of retail locations, which trend may continue. For example, certain retailers account for over 10% of our net revenues in certain geographies, including the U.S. Our success is dependent on our ability to manage our retailer relationships, including offering trade terms on mutually acceptable terms. Furthermore, increased online competition and declining in-store traffic has resulted, and may continue to result, in brick-and-mortar retailers closing physical stores, which could negatively impact our distribution strategies and/or sales if such retailers decide to significantly reduce their inventory levels for our products (as occurred in 2019 with key customers for OPI in North America, and, more recently, has occurred in connection with COVID-19 as retailers faced store closures or reduced traffic) or to designate more shelf space to our competitors. Additionally, these retailers periodically assess the allocation of shelf space and have elected (and could further elect) to reduce the shelf space allocated to our products. Some of our brands, including CoverGirl, have experienced shelf space losses, and such declines may continue. Further consolidation and store closures, or reduction in inventory levels of our products or shelf space devoted to our products, could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities. We generally do not have long-term sales contracts or other sales assurances with our retail customers.
Consumer shopping preferences have also shifted, including as a result of COVID-19, and may continue to shift in the future, to distribution channels other than traditional retail in which we have more limited experience, presence and development, such as direct sales and e-commerce. If we are not successful in our efforts to expand distribution channels, including growing our e-commerce activities, we will not be able to compete effectively. In addition, our entry into new categories and geographies has exposed, and may continue to expose, us to new distribution channels or risks about which we have less experience. Any change in our distribution channels, such as direct sales, could also expose us to disputes with distributors. If we are not successful in developing and utilizing these channels or other channels that future consumers may prefer, we may experience lower than expected revenues.
Changes in industry trends and consumer preferences could adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Our success depends on our products’ appeal to a broad range of consumers whose preferences cannot be predicted with certainty and may change rapidly, and on our ability to anticipate and respond in a timely and cost-effective manner to industry trends through product innovations, product line extensions and marketing and promotional activities, among other things. Product life cycles and consumer preferences continue to be affected by the rapidly increasing use and proliferation of social and digital media by consumers, and the speed with which information and opinions are shared. As product life cycles shorten, we must continually work to develop, produce and market new products, maintain and enhance the recognition of our brands and shorten our product development and supply chain cycles.
In addition, net revenues and margins on beauty products tend to decline as they advance in their life cycles, so our net revenues and margins could suffer if we do not successfully and continuously develop new products. This product innovation also can place a strain on our employees and our financial resources, including incurring expenses in connection with product innovation and development, marketing and advertising that are not subsequently supported by a sufficient level of sales. Furthermore, we cannot predict how consumers will react to any new products that we launch or to repositioning of our brands. Our successful product launches may not continue. The amount of positive or negative sales contribution of any of our products may change significantly within a period or from period to period. The above-referenced factors, as well as new product risks, could have an adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
These risks have been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19. Consumer spending habits and consumer confidence have shifted and may continue to change. For example, demand for prestige products mainly sold in retail malls, professional salon products, and the travel retail channel have been more significantly impacted by temporary closures of non-essential businesses and social distancing measures. The easing of containment measures and recovery of the impacted sectors of the economy is expected to be gradual and may not result in a return to pre-COVID-19 levels of demand for our products.
Our success depends on our ability to implement our Transformation Plan and achieve our global business strategies.
Our future performance and growth depends on the success of our Transformation Plan and new business strategies, including our management team’s ability to successfully implement them, including a focus on improving gross margin,
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deleveraging, and simplifying our business. In addition, in order to address the potentially permanent effects of COVID-19, the lockdown and a possible recession resulting from COVID-19 in many markets, we expanded our previously announced Turnaround Plan to include initiatives to reduce our fixed costs by 25%, including an adaptation of our supply network and organization, as well as a permanent reduction of certain discretionary expenses. The multi-year implementation of the Transformation Plan, which is still being operationalized, is expected to result in changes to business priorities and operations, capital allocation priorities, operational and organizational structure, and increased demands on management. Such changes could result in short-term and one-time costs without any current revenues, lost customers, reduced sales volume, higher than expected restructuring costs, loss of key personnel, additional supply chain disruptions, higher costs of supply and other negative impacts on our business. Implementation of the Transformation Plan may take longer than anticipated, and, once implemented, we may not realize, in full or in part, the anticipated benefits or such benefits may be realized more slowly than anticipated. The failure to realize benefits, which may be due to our inability to execute plans, delays in the implementation of the Transformation Plan, global or local economic conditions, competition, changes in the beauty industry and the other risks described herein, could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Our strategy includes simplifying our product range and brand architecture and focusing brand-building efforts behind priority brand/country combinations. In addition, we continue to prioritize our deleveraging objectives. In the future, we may dispose of or discontinue select brands and/or streamline operations, and incur costs or restructuring and/or other charges in doing so. We may face risks of declines in brand performance and license terminations, due to expirations and/or allegations of breach or for other reasons, including with regard to any potentially divested or discontinued brands. If and when we decide to divest or discontinue any brands or lines of business, we cannot be sure that we will be able to locate suitable buyers or that we will be able to complete such divestitures or discontinuances successfully, timely, at appropriate valuations and on commercially advantageous terms, or without significant costs, including relating to any post-closing purchase price adjustments or claims for indemnification. Any future divestitures and discontinuances could have, a dilutive impact on our earnings, create dis-synergies, and divert significant financial, operational and managerial resources from our existing operations and make it more difficult to achieve our operating and strategic objectives. We also cannot be sure of the effect such divestitures or discontinuances would have on the performance of our remaining business or ability to execute our global strategies.
We have incurred significant costs in connection with the integration of acquisitions and simplifying our business, and expect to incur costs in connection with the implementation of our Transformation Plan, that could affect our period-to-period operating results.
We have incurred significant restructuring costs in the past, and, as we implement our Transformation Plan (which builds on our previously announced Turnaround Plan and includes our structure reorganization as well as our fixed-cost reduction plan), we expect to incur one-time cash costs of approximately $600.0 spread over fiscal years 2020 through to 2023, in addition to approximately $160.0 connected to previous restructuring programs. In the past, as we integrated acquisitions, including the transformational acquisition of the P&G Beauty Business, we experienced challenges, including supply chain disruptions, higher than expected costs and lost customers and related revenue and profits, and we could experience these or other challenges arising from the implementation of the Transformation Plan. The cash usage associated with such, and similar, expenses has impacted and could continue to impact our ability to execute our business strategies, improve operating results and deleverage our balance sheet.
If our management is not able to effectively manage these initiatives, address fixed and other costs, we incur additional operating expenses or capital expenditures to realize synergies, simplifications and cost savings, or if any significant business activities are interrupted as a result of these initiatives, our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities may be materially adversely affected. The amount and timing of the above-referenced charges and management distraction could further adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities. In addition, the implementation of the Transformation Plan, continuing restructuring initiatives, the integration of acquisitions and the separation of the Wella Business and related TSA, may impact our ability to anticipate future business trends and accurately forecast future results.
The diversion of resources to the integration of the P&G Beauty Business, together with changes and turnover in our management teams as we reorganized our business, negatively impacted our fiscal 2018 and 2019 results. The implementation of our Transformation Plan could result in similar challenges. Although our Transformation Plan is intended to deliver meaningful, sustainable expense and cost management improvement, events and circumstances such as financial or strategic difficulties, significant employee turnover, business disruption and delays may occur or continue, resulting in new, unexpected or increased costs that could result in us not realizing all of the anticipated benefits of the Transformation Plan on our expected timetable or at all. In addition, we are executing many initiatives simultaneously, including changes to our operations and global strategy, as well as the separation of the Wella Business and related Wella TSA, which may result in further diversion of our resources, employee attrition and business disruption (including supply chain disruptions), and may adversely impact the
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execution of such initiatives. Any failure to implement our multi-year Transformation Plan and other initiatives in accordance with our expectations could adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
The closing of the announced sale of the Wella Business, its separation into a standalone entity and KKR Bidco’s investment therein are subject to various risks and uncertainties, may not be completed in accordance with expected plans or on the currently contemplated timeline, or at all, and the pending transactions may be disruptive to our operations and adversely impact our profitability.
Risks and uncertainties relating to the sale and separation of the Wella Business could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. We have expended and will continue to expend significant management time and resources and have incurred and will continue to incur significant expenses due to legal, advisory and financial services fees related to the sale and separation of the Wella Business. These expenses must be paid regardless of whether the transaction is completed. Accordingly, if the proposed sale and separation of the Wella Business is delayed or is not completed on the terms set forth in the definitive agreements governing the sale and separation, or at all, our business, results of operations, financial condition, cash flows and stock price may be adversely affected.
In addition, the sale and separation process, including complex carve-out and transition activities, may be time consuming and disruptive to our business operations, could divert the attention of management and the Board from our business, could negatively affect our ability to attract, retain and motivate key employees, could impact our relationships with suppliers and/or customers, could lead to a disproportionate cost base for the size of the remaining business, and could expose us to potential litigation in connection with the sale process and the standalone business. Further, speculation regarding any developments related to the sale and separation of the Wella Business and KKR Bidco’s investment therein, and perceived uncertainties related to the future of the Company, could cause our stock price to fluctuate significantly.
If the proposed sale and separation of the Wella Business is completed, we may not achieve the operational and financial results that we anticipate in the future.
If the sale of the Wella Business is completed, our operational and financial profile will change upon the separation of the Wella Business from our other remaining businesses. As a result, our diversification of revenue sources will diminish, and our results of operations, cash flows, working capital and financing requirements may be subject to increased volatility and greater risk as a result of the concentration of our business in the fragrance, color cosmetics and skincare sectors of the beauty industry. Moreover, the shares of the company’s common stock will represent an investment in a smaller company than in existence today and the company’s exposure to the risks inherent in its remaining businesses will increase.
Following the closing of the sale of the Wella Business, we plan to use the net proceeds from the sale to pay down debt, which may not improve our results of operations or cash flows. Further, the anticipated benefits to us of the proposed sale, including the retention of 40% ownership in the separated business, are based on a number of assumptions, including the successful and timely separation and transition of the Wella Business, some of which may prove incorrect. Any such incorrect assumptions could adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition.
In addition, we will have continuing operational and financial obligations under the Wella TSA, in some cases as long as two years or more after the closing. These ongoing transition arrangements will require significant management and operational resources and may limit our ability to fully implement cost reduction and efficiency initiatives or other aspects of our Transformation Plan until the Wella TSA period has expired.
Our new product introductions may not be as successful as we anticipate, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
We must continually work to develop, produce and market new products and maintain a favorable mix of products in order to respond in an effective manner to changing consumer preferences. We continually develop our approach as to how and where we market and sell our products. In addition, we believe that we must maintain and enhance the recognition of our brands, which may require us to quickly and continuously adapt in a highly competitive industry to deliver desirable products and branding to our consumers. For example, as part of our Transformation Plan, we are in the process of reevaluating our product assortment and simplifying our product range and brands’ architecture. We are also shifting our focus to supporting our priority brands and brand/country combinations and instituting new objectives for our innovation efforts to support expansion of category coverage. If these or other initiatives are not successful, our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities could be adversely impacted.
We have made changes and may continue to change our process for the continuous development and evaluation of new product concepts. In addition, each new product launch carries risks. For example, we may incur costs exceeding our expectations, our advertising, promotional and marketing strategies may be less effective than planned or customer purchases may not be as high as anticipated. In addition, we may experience a decrease in sales of certain of our existing products as a result of consumer preferences shifting to our newly-launched products or to the products of our competitors as a result of
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unsuccessful or unpopular product launches harming our brands. Also, initially successful launches may not be sustained. Any of these could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
As part of our ongoing business strategy we expect that we will need to continue to introduce new products in our traditional product categories and channels, while also expanding our product launches into adjacent categories and channels in which we may have less operating experience. For example, we acquired professional and retail hair brands in connection with the acquisition of the P&G Beauty Business, purchased a premium brand in high-end hair styling and appliances and entered into a joint venture with King Kylie and a pending transaction with Kim Kardashian West, both digital-native beauty businesses, all of which were new product categories or channels for us. The success of product launches in adjacent product categories could be hampered by our relative inexperience operating in such categories and channels, the strength of our competitors or any of the other risks referred to herein. Our inability to introduce successful products in our traditional categories and channels or in these or other adjacent categories and channels could limit our future growth and have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
If we are unable to obtain, maintain and protect our intellectual property rights, in particular trademarks, patents and copyrights, or if our brand partners and licensors are unable to maintain and protect their intellectual property rights that we use in connection with our products, our ability to compete could be negatively impacted.
Our intellectual property is a valuable asset of our business. Although certain of the intellectual property we use is registered in the U.S. and in many of the foreign countries in which we operate, there can be no assurances with respect to the continuation of such intellectual property rights, including our ability to further register, use or defend key current or future trademarks. Further, applicable law may provide only limited and uncertain protection, particularly in emerging markets, such as China.
Furthermore, we may not apply for, or be unable to obtain, intellectual property protection for certain aspects of our business. Third parties have in the past, and could in the future, bring infringement, invalidity, co-inventorship, re-examination, opposition or similar claims with respect to our current or future intellectual property. Any such claims, whether or not successful, could be costly to defend, may not be sufficiently covered by any indemnification provisions to which we are party, divert management’s attention and resources, damage our reputation and brands, and substantially harm our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities. Patent expirations may also affect our business. As patents expire (especially with respect to our Professional Beauty hair coloring technology), competitors may be able to legally produce and market products similar to the ones that were patented, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
In addition, third parties may distribute and sell counterfeit (or grey market) versions of our products, which may be inferior or pose safety risks and could confuse consumers or customers, which could cause them to refrain from purchasing our brands in the future or otherwise damage our reputation. In recent years, there has been an increase in the availability of counterfeit goods, including fragrances, in various markets by street vendors and small retailers, as well as on the Internet. The presence of counterfeit versions of our products in the market and of prestige products in mass distribution channels could also dilute the value of our brands, force us and our distributors to compete with heavily discounted products, cause us to be in breach of contract (including license agreements), impact our compliance with distribution and competition laws in jurisdictions including the E.U. and China, or otherwise have a negative impact on our reputation and business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations. We are rationalizing our wholesale distribution and continue efforts to reduce the amount of product diversion to the value and mass channels, however, stopping such commerce could result in a potential adverse impact to our sales and net revenues, including to those customers who are selling our products to unauthorized retailers, or an increase in returns over historical levels.
In order to protect or enforce our intellectual property and other proprietary rights, we may initiate litigation or other proceedings against third parties, such as infringement suits, opposition proceedings or interference proceedings. Any lawsuits or proceedings that we initiate could be expensive, take significant time and divert management’s attention from other business concerns, adversely impact customer relations and we may not be successful. Litigation and other proceedings may also put our intellectual property at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly. The occurrence of any of these events may have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
In addition, many of our products bear, and the value of our brands is affected by, the trademarks and other intellectual property rights of our brand and joint venture partners and licensors. Our brand and joint venture partners’ and licensors’ ability to maintain and protect their trademark and other intellectual property rights is subject to risks similar to those described above with respect to our intellectual property. We do not control the protection of the trademarks and other intellectual property
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rights of our brand and joint venture partners and licensors and cannot ensure that our brand and joint venture partners and licensors will be able to secure or protect their trademarks and other intellectual property rights, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Our success depends on our ability to operate our business without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property of third parties.
Our commercial success depends in part on our ability to operate without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the trademarks, patents, copyrights and other proprietary rights of third parties. However, we cannot be certain that the conduct of our business does not and will not infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate such rights. Moreover, our acquisition targets and other businesses in which we make strategic investments are often smaller or younger companies with less robust intellectual property clearance practices, and we may face challenges on the use of their trademarks and other proprietary rights. If we are found to be infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating a third party trademark, patent, copyright or other proprietary rights, we may need to obtain a license, which may not be available in a timely manner on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or redesign or rebrand our products, which may not be possible or result in a significant delay to market or otherwise have an adverse commercial impact. We may also be required to pay substantial damages or be subject to a court order prohibiting us and our customers from selling certain products or engaging in certain activities, which could therefore have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Our goodwill and other assets have been subject to impairment and may continue to be subject to impairment in the future.
We are required, at least annually and sometimes on an interim basis, to test goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets to determine if any impairment has occurred. Impairment may result from various factors, including adverse changes in assumptions used for valuation purposes, such as actual or projected revenue growth rates, profitability or discount rates. If the testing indicates that an impairment has occurred, we are required to record a non-cash impairment charge for the difference between the carrying value of the goodwill or indefinite intangible assets and the fair value of the goodwill or of indefinite-lived intangible assets.
We cannot predict the amount and timing of any future impairments, if any. We have experienced impairment charges with respect to goodwill, intangible assets or other items in connection with past acquisitions, and we may experience such charges in connection with such acquisitions or future acquisitions, particularly if business performance declines or expected growth is not realized or the applicable discount rate changes adversely. For example, in our continuing operations in fiscal 2020 and 2019, we incurred impairment charges of $434.0 and $3,729.0 ($3,851.9 for total Coty Inc., including discontinued operations), respectively, primarily related to goodwill write-downs and impairments on indefinite-lived other intangible assets. It is possible that material changes in our business, market conditions, or market assumptions could occur over time. Any future impairment of our goodwill or other intangible assets could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations, as well as the trading price of our securities. For a further discussion of the fiscal 2020 impairment charges and our impairment testing, please refer to “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Financial Condition-Liquidity and Capital Resources-Goodwill, Other Intangible Assets and Long-Lived Assets”.
We have taken on significant debt, and the agreements that govern such debt contain various covenants that impose restrictions on us, which may adversely affect our business.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness. We may not be able to refinance our indebtedness in the future (1) on commercially reasonable terms, (2) on terms, including with respect to interest rates, as favorable as our current debt or (3) at all.
Agreements that govern our indebtedness, including the indenture governing our senior unsecured notes (the “Indenture”) and our credit agreement (as amended, the “2018 Coty Credit Agreement”), impose operating and financial restrictions on our activities. These restrictions may limit or prohibit our ability and the ability of our restricted subsidiaries to, among other things:
incur indebtedness or grant liens on our property;
dispose of assets or equity;
make acquisitions or investments;
make dividends, distributions or other restricted payments;
effect affiliate transactions;
enter into sale and leaseback transactions; and
enter into mergers, consolidations or sales of substantially all of our assets and the assets of our subsidiaries.
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In addition, we are required to maintain certain financial ratios calculated pursuant to a financial maintenance covenant under the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement on a quarterly basis. On April 29, 2020, we amended the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement. The amendment (i) provides a Total Net Leverage Ratio financial covenant “holiday” through March 31, 2021; (ii) establishes a quarterly minimum liquidity covenant through March 31, 2021 of $350.0; and (iii) effectively places certain limitations on the ability to make certain investments and restricted payments (including limiting our ability to pay dividends in cash through March 31, 2021) and on incurring additional indebtedness. For a further description of the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement and the covenants thereunder please refer to Note 15, “Debt” in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Our debt burden and the restrictions in the agreements that govern our debt could have important consequences, including increasing our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions; limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and our industry; requiring the dedication of a substantial portion of any cash flow from operations and capital investments to the payment of principal of, and interest on, our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of such cash flow to fund our operations, turnaround strategy, working capital, capital expenditures, future business opportunities and other general corporate purposes; exposing us to the risk of increased interest rates with respect to any borrowings that are at variable rates of interest; restricting us from making strategic acquisitions or causing us to make non-strategic divestitures; limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, research and development, debt service requirements, acquisitions and general corporate or other purposes; limiting our ability to adjust to changing market conditions; limiting our ability to take advantage of financing and other corporate opportunities; and placing us at a competitive disadvantage relative to our competitors who are less highly leveraged. Moreover, a material breach of the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement could result in the acceleration of all obligations outstanding under that agreement.
Our ability to service and repay our indebtedness will be dependent on the cash flow generated by our subsidiaries and events beyond our control.
Prevailing economic conditions and financial, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, may affect our ability to make payments on our debt and comply with other requirements under the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement and to meet our deleveraging objectives. In particular, due to the seasonal nature of the beauty industry, with the highest levels of consumer demand generally occurring during the holiday buying season in our second fiscal quarter, our subsidiaries’ cash flow in the second half of the fiscal year may be less than in the first half of the fiscal year, which may affect our ability to satisfy our debt service obligations, including to service our senior unsecured notes and the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement, and to meet such deleveraging objectives. If we do not generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our covenants and debt service obligations, including payments on our senior unsecured notes and under the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement, we may have to undertake additional cost reduction measures or alternative financing plans, such as refinancing or restructuring our debt; selling assets; reducing or delaying capital investments; modifying terms of agreements, including timing of payments, with vendors, customers, and other third parties; or seeking to raise additional capital. The terms of the Indenture governing our senior unsecured notes, the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement or any existing debt instruments or future debt instruments that we may enter into may restrict us from adopting some of these alternatives. Our ability to restructure or refinance our debt will depend on the capital markets and other macroeconomic conditions and our financial condition at such time. Any refinancing or modification of our debt could result in higher interest rates and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants or reduce our borrowing capacity, which could further restrict our business operations. For example, in connection with the 2019 amendment to the 2018 Credit Agreement, we reduced the borrowing capacity under our revolving credit facility. In addition, the 2020 amendment establishes a quarterly minimum liquidity covenant of $350.0 and effectively places certain limitations on the ability to make certain investments and restricted payments (including limiting our ability to pay dividends in cash) and on incurring additional indebtedness during the Total Net Leverage Ratio financial covenant “holiday” period. The inability of our subsidiaries to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our covenants and debt service obligations, including the inability to service our senior unsecured notes and the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement, or to refinance our obligations on commercially reasonable terms, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, profitability, cash flows or liquidity, as well as the trading price of our securities, and may impact our ability to satisfy our obligations in respect of our senior unsecured notes and the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement.
Our variable rate indebtedness subjects us to interest rate risk, which could cause our debt service obligations to increase.
Borrowings under the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement are at variable rates of interest and expose us to interest rate risk. If interest rates were to increase, our debt service obligations on the variable rate indebtedness referred to above would increase even if the principal amount borrowed remained the same, and our net income and cash flows will correspondingly decrease. We are currently party to, and in the future, we may enter into additional, interest rate swaps that involve the exchange of floating for fixed rate interest payments, in order to reduce interest rate volatility. However, we may not maintain interest rate swaps with respect to all of our variable rate indebtedness, and any swaps we enter into may not fully mitigate our interest rate risk.
In addition, amounts drawn under the 2018 Coty Credit Agreement may bear interest rates in relation to the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). In 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR,
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announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. It is unclear if LIBOR will cease to exist at that time or if new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. If LIBOR is no longer available, or if our lenders have increased costs due to changes in LIBOR, we may need to amend our 2018 Coty Credit Agreement and any related interest rate swaps to replace LIBOR with an agreed upon replacement index, which could result in higher rates and adversely impact our interest expense.
We may not be able to identify suitable acquisition targets and our acquisition activities and other strategic transactions may present managerial, integration, operational and financial risks, which may prevent us from realizing the full intended benefit of the acquisitions we undertake.
Our acquisition activities and other strategic transactions expose us to certain risks related to integration, including diversion of management attention from existing core businesses and substantial investment of resources to support integration. During the past several years, we have explored and undertaken opportunities to acquire other companies and assets as part of our growth strategy. For example, we completed five significant acquisitions in fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2018 (including the acquisition of P&G Beauty Business in October 2016). In 2020, we entered into a joint venture with King Kylie and a pending transaction with Kim Kardashian West. These assets represent a significant portion of our net assets, particularly the P&G Beauty Business. As we consider growth opportunities, we may continue to seek acquisitions that we believe strengthen our competitive position in our key segments and geographies or accelerate our ability to grow into adjacent product categories and channels and emerging markets or which otherwise fit our strategy. There can be no assurance that we will be able to identify suitable acquisition candidates, be the successful bidder or consummate acquisitions on favorable terms, have the funds to acquire desirable acquisitions or otherwise realize the full intended benefit of such transactions. In addition, acquisitions could adversely impact our deleveraging strategy.
The assumptions we use to evaluate acquisition opportunities may not prove to be accurate, and intended benefits may not be realized. Our due diligence investigations may fail to identify all of the problems, liabilities or other challenges associated with an acquired business which could result in increased risk of unanticipated or unknown issues or liabilities, including with respect to environmental, competition and other regulatory matters, and our mitigation strategies for such risks that are identified may not be effective. As a result, we may not achieve some or any of the benefits, including anticipated synergies or accretion to earnings, that we expect to achieve in connection with our acquisitions and joint ventures, or we may not accurately anticipate the fixed and other costs associated with such acquisitions and joint ventures, or the business may not achieve the performance we anticipated, which may materially adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities. Any financing for an acquisition could increase our indebtedness or result in a potential violation of the debt covenants under our existing facilities requiring consent or waiver from our lenders, which could delay or prevent the acquisition, or dilute the interests of our stockholders. For example, in connection with the acquisition of the P&G Beauty Business, Green Acquisition Sub Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, was merged with and into Galleria, with Galleria continuing as the surviving corporation and a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company (the “Green Merger”) and pre-Green Merger holders of our stock were diluted to 46% of the fully diluted shares of common stock immediately following the Green Merger. In addition, acquisitions of foreign businesses, new entrepreneurial businesses and businesses in new distribution channels, such as our acquisition of the Brazilian personal care and beauty business of Hypermarcas S.A. (the “Hypermarcas Brands”), Burberry and ghd, and our joint venture with King Kylie and pending transaction with Kim Kardashian West, entail certain particular risks, including potential difficulties in geographies and channels in which we lack a significant presence, difficulty in seizing business opportunities compared to local or other global competitors, difficulty in complying with new regulatory frameworks, the acquisition of new or unexpected liabilities, the adverse impact of fluctuating exchange rates and entering lines of business where we have limited or no direct experience. See “—Fluctuations in currency exchange rates may negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations” and “—We are subject to risks related to our international operations.”
We face risks associated with our joint ventures.
We are party to several joint ventures in both the U.S. and abroad. Going forward, we may acquire interests in more joint venture enterprises to execute our business strategy by utilizing our partners’ skills, experiences and resources. These joint ventures involve risks that our joint venture partners may:
have economic or business interests or goals that are inconsistent with or adverse to ours;
take actions contrary to our requests or contrary to our policies or objectives, including actions that may violate applicable law;
be unable or unwilling to fulfill their obligations under the relevant joint venture agreements;
have financial or business difficulties;
take actions that may harm our reputation; or
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have disputes with us as to the scope of their rights, responsibilities and obligations.
        In certain cases, joint ventures may present us with a lack of ability to fully control all aspects of their operations, including due to veto rights, and we may not have full visibility with respect to all operations, customer relations and compliance practices, among others.
Our present or future joint venture projects may not be successful. We have had, and cannot assure you that we will not in the future have, disputes or encounter other problems with respect to our present or future joint venture partners or that our joint venture agreements will be effective or enforceable in resolving these disputes or that we will be able to resolve such disputes and solve such problems in a timely manner or on favorable economic terms, or at all. Any failure by us to address these potential disputes or conflicts of interest effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
A general economic downturn, credit constriction, uncertainty in global economic or political conditions or other global events or a sudden disruption in business conditions may affect consumer spending, which could adversely affect our financial results.
Global events may impact our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities, and, as demonstrated by the impacts of COVID-19, such events can evolve rapidly and cause significant and pervasive disruptions to global economic and business conditions. We operate in an environment of slow overall growth in the segments and geographies in which we compete with increasing competitive pressure and changing consumer preferences, and global economic activity is in decline as a result of COVID-19. While prestige fragrances and skin care categories have experienced strong growth, declines in the retail mass color cosmetics and mass fragrance categories in the U.S. and certain key markets in Western Europe continue to impact our business and financial results. Deterioration of social or economic conditions in Europe or elsewhere could reduce sales and could also impair collections on accounts receivable. For example, the June 23, 2016 referendum in the U.K. in which voters approved an exit from the E.U., commonly referred to as “Brexit,” and subsequent initiation of formal withdrawal procedures by the U.K. government has caused significant volatility in the financial and credit markets and may impact consumer spending and economic conditions generally in Europe. The global markets and currencies have been adversely impacted, including volatility in the value of the British pound as compared to the U.S. dollar. The United Kingdom formally left the European Union on January 31, 2020 and immediately entered a transition period set to expire on December 31, 2020 (which may potentially be extended until December 31, 2022 at the latest). There continues to be a significant lack of clarity over the terms of the U.K.’s future relationship with the E.U. Although it is unknown what those terms will be, it is possible that there will be greater restrictions on imports and exports between the U.K. and E.U. countries and increased regulatory complexities. These changes may adversely affect our operations and financial results. See “-We are subject to risks related to our international operations.” Further, recent political and economic developments in the U.S. (including public statements by the current administration and the upcoming election), the U.K., Europe, Brazil and China have introduced uncertainty in the regulatory and business environment in which we operate (including potential increases in tariffs). These political and economic developments have resulted and could continue to result in changes to legislation or reformation of government policies, rules and regulations pertaining to trade. Such changes could have a significant impact on our business by increasing the cost of doing business, affecting our ability to sell our products and negatively impacting our profitability. Moreover, our business has been, and may continue to be, impacted by COVID-19. See “-Our operations and sales have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we must successfully manage the demand, supply, operational and financial challenges associated with the actual or perceived effects of COVID-19 and the related widespread public health crisis.”
In addition, our sales are affected by the overall level of consumer spending. The general level of consumer spending is affected by a number of factors, including general economic conditions (including potential recessions in one or more significant economies), inflation, interest rates, government policies that affect consumers (such as those relating to medical insurance or income tax), energy costs and consumer confidence, each of which is beyond our control. Consumer purchases of discretionary and other items and services, including beauty products, tend to decline during recessionary periods and otherwise weak economic environments, when disposable income is lower. A decline in consumer spending would likely have a negative impact on our direct sales and could cause financial difficulties at our retailer and other customers. If consumer purchases decrease, we may not be able to generate enough cash flow to meet our debt obligations and other commitments and may need to refinance our debt, dispose of assets or issue equity to raise necessary funds. We cannot predict whether we would be able to undertake any of these actions to raise funds on a timely basis or on satisfactory terms or at all. The financial difficulties of a customer or retailer could also cause us to curtail or eliminate business with that customer or retailer. We may also decide to assume more credit risk relating to the receivables from our customers or retailers, which increases the possibility of late or non-payment of receivables. Our inability to collect receivables from a significant retailer or customer, or from a group of these customers, could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities. If a retailer or customer were to go into liquidation, we
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could incur additional costs if we choose to purchase the retailer’s or customer’s inventory of our products to protect brand equity. These risks have been, and may continue to be, amplified by COVID-19.
Volatility in the financial markets could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
While we currently generate significant cash flows from our ongoing operations and have access to global credit markets through our various financing activities, credit markets may experience significant disruptions. Deterioration in global financial markets, including as a result of COVID-19, could make future financing difficult or more expensive. If any financial institutions that are parties to our credit facilities or other financing arrangements, such as interest rate or foreign currency exchange hedging instruments, were to declare bankruptcy or become insolvent, or experience other financial difficulty, they may be unable to perform under their agreements with us. In addition, the deterioration of the financial condition of any of the financial institutions that hold our short-term investments and cash deposits could negatively impact the value and liquidity of such investments and deposits. This could leave us with reduced borrowing capacity, could leave us unhedged against certain interest rate or foreign currency exposures or could reduce our access to our cash deposits, which could have an adverse impact on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Fluctuations in currency exchange rates may negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Exchange rate fluctuations have affected and may in the future affect our results of operations, financial condition, reported earnings, the value of our foreign assets, the relative prices at which we and foreign competitors sell products in the same markets and the cost of certain inventory and non-inventory items required by our operations. The currencies to which we are exposed include the euro, the British pound, the Chinese yuan, the Polish zloty, the Russian ruble, the Brazilian real, the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar. The exchange rates between these currencies and the U.S. dollar in recent years have fluctuated significantly and may continue to do so in the future. A depreciation of these currencies against the U.S. dollar would decrease the U.S. dollar equivalent of the amounts derived from foreign operations reported in our consolidated financial statements and an appreciation of these currencies would result in a corresponding increase in such amounts. The cost of certain items, such as raw materials, transportation and freight, required by our operations may be affected by changes in the value of the various relevant currencies. To the extent that we are required to pay for goods or services in foreign currencies, the appreciation of such currencies against the U.S. dollar would tend to negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations. Our efforts to hedge certain exposures to foreign currency exchange rates arising in the ordinary course of business may not successfully hedge the effect of such fluctuations.
We are subject to risks related to our international operations.
We operate on a global basis, and approximately 71% of our net revenues from continuing operations in fiscal 2020, were generated outside North America. We have employees in more than 46 countries, and we market, sell and distribute our products in over 150 countries and territories. Our presence in such geographies has expanded as a result of our acquisitions, as well as organic growth, and we are exposed to risks inherent in operating in geographies in which we have not operated in or have been less present in the past.
Non-U.S. operations are subject to many risks and uncertainties, including ongoing instability or changes in a country’s or region’s economic, regulatory or political conditions, including inflation, recession, interest rate fluctuations, sovereign default risk and actual or anticipated military or political conflicts (including any other change resulting from Brexit), labor market disruptions, sanctions, boycotts, new or increased tariffs, quotas, exchange or price controls, trade barriers or other restrictions on foreign businesses, our failure to effectively and timely implement processes and policies across our diverse operations and employee base and difficulties and costs associated with complying with a wide variety of complex and potentially conflicting regulations across multiple jurisdictions. Non-U.S. operations also increase the risk of non-compliance with U.S. laws and regulations applicable to such non-U.S. operations, such as those relating to sanctions, boycotts and improper payments. In particular, we are monitoring the latest developments regarding Brexit negotiations, including the potential impact on our business if the Brexit transition period were to expire without having a final withdrawal agreement in place (sometimes referred to as a “hard Brexit”). Brexit (and particularly a hard Brexit) could have a number of negative implications for our business, including with respect to the production of our products in the United Kingdom, the transfer or purchase of goods and services into or out of the United Kingdom and our operations in the United Kingdom. We are analyzing various short- and long-term strategies to address Brexit contingencies, but such strategies may not be effective in limiting these negative impacts and Brexit thus could have a material impact on our business and results of operations.
In addition, sudden disruptions in business conditions as a consequence of events such as terrorist attacks, war or other military action or the threat of further attacks, pandemics or other crises or vulnerabilities or as a result of adverse weather conditions or climate changes, may have an impact on consumer spending, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
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The U.S. and the other countries in which our products are manufactured or sold have imposed and may impose additional quotas, duties, tariffs, retaliatory or trade protection measures, or other restrictions or regulations, or may adversely adjust prevailing quota, duty or tariff levels, which can affect both the materials that we use to manufacture or package our products and the sale of finished products. For example, in 2018, the E.U. imposed tariffs on certain prestige category products imported from the U.S., which impact the sale in the E.U. of certain of our products that are manufactured in the U.S. Similarly, the tariffs imposed by the U.S. on goods and materials from China are impacting materials we import for use in manufacturing or packaging in the U.S. Measures to reduce the impact of tariff increases or trade restrictions, including shifts of production among countries and manufacturers, geographical diversification of our sources of supply, adjustments in product or packaging design and fabrication, or increased prices, could increase our costs and delay our time to market or decrease sales. Other governmental action related to tariffs or international trade agreements has the potential to adversely impact demand for our products, our costs, customers, suppliers and global economic conditions and cause higher volatility in financial markets. The beauty industry has been impacted by ongoing uncertainty surrounding tariffs and import duties, and international trade relations generally. While we actively review existing and proposed measures to seek to assess the impact of them on our business, changes in tariff rates, import duties and other new or augmented trade restrictions could have a number of negative impacts on our business, including higher consumer prices and reduced demand for our products and higher input costs.
On December 22, 2017, the President of the U.S. signed the Tax Act which made broad and complex changes to the U.S. tax laws that affect businesses operating internationally. In addition, some foreign governments may enact tax laws in response to the Tax Act that could result in further changes to global taxation and that could materially adversely affect our financial results, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
We are subject to legal proceedings and legal compliance risks.
We are subject to a variety of legal proceedings and legal compliance risks in the countries in which we do business, including the matters described under the heading “Legal Proceedings” in Part I, Item 3 of this report. We are under the jurisdiction of regulators and other governmental authorities which may, in certain circumstances, lead to enforcement actions, changes in business practices, fines and penalties, the assertion of private litigation claims and damages and adversely impact our customer relationships, particularly to the extent customers were implicated by such proceedings. We are also subject to legal proceedings and legal compliance risks in connection with legacy matters involving the P&G Beauty Business, the Burberry fragrance business, Hypermarcas Brands, ghd, the King Kylie business and the pending Kim Kardashian West business, that were previously outside our control and that we are now independently addressing, which may result in unanticipated or new liabilities. While we believe that we have adopted, and/or will adopt, appropriate risk management and compliance programs, such adoptions take time and, given the global nature of our operations and many laws and regulations to which we are subject, these legal and compliance risks will continue to exist with respect to our business, and additional legal proceedings and other contingencies, the outcome and impact of which cannot be predicted with certainty, will arise from time to time.
As described under “Legal Proceedings” in this report, a consolidated putative class action lawsuit has been filed in connection with the Cottage Tender Offer and related Schedule 14D-9.
In addition, we are subject to pending tax assessment matters in Brazil relating to local sales tax credits for the 2016-2017 tax periods. Although we are seeking a favorable administrative decision on the related tax enforcement action, we may not be successful. See Note 26,— Legal Contingencies for more information regarding our potential tax obligations in Brazil.
Our operations and acquisitions in certain foreign areas expose us to political, regulatory, economic and reputational risks.
We operate on a global basis. Our employees, contractors and agents, business partners, joint venture and joint venture partners and companies to which we outsource certain of our business operations, may take actions in violation of our compliance policies or applicable law. In addition, some of our acquisitions have required us to integrate non-U.S. companies that had not, until our acquisition, been subject to U.S. law or other laws to which we are subject.
In many countries, particularly in those with developing economies, it may be common for persons to engage in business practices prohibited by the laws and regulations applicable to us. In addition, certain countries have laws that differ with those in the US, including relating to competition and product distribution, with which US and other personnel may be unfamiliar, thereby increasing the risk of non-compliance. We are in the process of enhancing our compliance program, including as a result of acquisitions, but we cannot assure you that we will not encounter problems with respect to such programs or that such programs will be effective in ensuring compliance.
Failure by us or our subsidiaries to comply with applicable laws or policies could subject us to civil and criminal penalties, cause us to be in breach of contract or damage to our or our licensors’ reputation, each of which could materially and adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, cash flows, results of operations, as well as the trading price of our securities.
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In addition, the U.S. may impose additional sanctions at any time on countries where we sell our products. If so, our existing activities may be adversely affected, we may incur costs in order to come into compliance with future sanctions, depending on the nature of any further sanctions that may be imposed, or we may experience reputational harm and increased regulatory scrutiny.
We are subject to the interpretation and enforcement by governmental agencies of other foreign laws, rules, regulations or policies, including any changes thereto, such as restrictions on trade, import and export license requirements, and tariffs and taxes (including assessments and disputes related thereto), which may require us to adjust our operations in certain areas where we do business. We face legal and regulatory risks in the U.S. and abroad and, in particular, cannot predict with certainty the outcome of various contingencies or the impact that pending or future legislative and regulatory changes may have on our business. It is not possible to gauge what any final regulation may provide, its effective date or its impact at this time. These risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Our failure to protect our reputation, or the failure of our brand partners or licensors to protect their reputations, could have a material adverse effect on our brand images.
Our ability to maintain our reputation is critical to our business and our various brand images. Our reputation could be jeopardized if we fail to maintain high standards for product quality and integrity (including should we be perceived as violating the law) or if we, or the third parties with whom we do business, do not comply with regulations or accepted practices and are subject to a significant product recall, litigation, or allegations of tampering, animal testing, use of certain ingredients (such as certain palm oil) or misconduct by executives or founders. Any negative publicity about these types of concerns or other concerns, whether actual or perceived or directed towards us or our competitors, may reduce demand for our products. Failure to comply with ethical, social, product, labor and environmental standards, or related political considerations, could also jeopardize our reputation and potentially lead to various adverse consumer actions, including boycotts. In addition, the behavior of our employees, including with respect to our employees’ use of social media subjects us to potential negative publicity if such use does not align with our high standards and integrity or fails to comply with regulations or accepted practices. Furthermore, widespread use of digital and social media by consumers has greatly increased the accessibility of information and the speed of its dissemination. Negative or inaccurate publicity, posts or comments on social media, whether accurate or inaccurate, about us, our employees or our brand partners (including influencers) and licensors, our respective brands or our respective products, whether true or untrue, could damage our respective brands and our reputation.
Additionally, our success is also partially dependent on the reputations of our brand partners, influencers and licensors and the goodwill associated with their intellectual property. We often rely on our brand partners, influencers or licensors to manage and maintain their brands, but these licensors’ reputation or goodwill may be harmed due to factors outside our control, which could be attributed to our other brands and have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities. Many of these brand licenses are with fashion houses, whose popularity may decline due to mismanagement, changes in fashion or consumer preferences, allegations against their management or designers or other factors beyond our control. Similarly, certain of our products bear the names and likeness of celebrities, whose brand or image may change without notice and who may not maintain the appropriate celebrity status or positive association among the consumer public to support projected sales levels. In addition, in the event that any of these licensors were to enter bankruptcy proceedings, we could lose our rights to use the intellectual property that the applicable licensors license to us.
Damage to our reputation or the reputations of our brand partners or licensors or loss of consumer confidence for any of these or other reasons could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, as well as require additional resources to rebuild our reputation.
Our brand licenses may be terminated if specified conditions are not met, and we may not be able to renew expiring licenses on favorable terms or at all.
We license trademarks for many of our product lines. Our brand licenses typically impose various obligations on us, including the payment of annual royalties, maintenance of the quality of the licensed products, achievement of minimum sales levels, promotion of sales and qualifications and behavior of our suppliers, distributors and retailers. We have breached, and may in the future breach, certain terms of our brand licenses. If we breach our obligations, our rights under the applicable brand license agreements could be terminated by the licensor and we could, among other things, have to pay damages, lose our ability to sell products related to that brand, lose any upfront investments made in connection with such license and sustain reputational damage. In addition, most brand licenses have renewal options for one or more terms, which can range from three to ten years. Certain brand licenses provide for automatic extensions, so long as minimum annual royalty payments are made, while renewal of others is contingent upon attaining of specified sales levels or upon agreement of the licensor. In fiscal 2019, we renewed two key brand licenses. While many of our licenses are long term, licenses relating to certain of our brands are up for renewal in the next few years, including five licenses up for renewal in 2021. We may not be able to renew expiring licenses
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on terms that are favorable to us or at all. We may also face difficulties in finding replacements for terminated or expired licenses. Each of the aforementioned risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Our business is subject to seasonal variability.
Our sales generally increase during our second fiscal quarter as a result of increased demand by retailers associated with the winter holiday season. The Wella Business also generally experiences an increase in sales during its fourth fiscal quarter as a result of higher demand prior to the summer holiday season. Accordingly, our financial performance, sales, working capital requirements, cash flow and borrowings generally experience variability during the three to six months preceding and during the holiday period. As a result of this seasonality, our expenses, including working capital expenditures and advertising spend, are typically higher during the period before a high-demand season. Consequently, any substantial decrease in, or inaccurate forecasting with respect to, net revenues during such periods of high demand including as a result of decreased customer purchases, increased product returns, production or distribution disruptions or other events (many of which are outside of our control), would prevent us from being able to recoup our earlier expenses and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
A disruption in operations could adversely affect our business.
As a company engaged in manufacturing and distribution on a global scale, we are subject to the risks inherent in such activities, including industrial accidents, environmental events, strikes and other labor disputes (including as to works councils), disruptions in supply chain or information systems, loss or impairment of key manufacturing sites or distribution centers, product quality control, safety, licensing requirements and other regulatory issues, as well as natural disasters, pandemics, border disputes, acts of terrorism, possible dawn raids, and other external factors over which we have no control. For example, disruptions in our U.K. planning hub and one of our U.S. distribution centers in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 resulted in loss of revenue and increased costs, including penalty payments to retailers for unshipped products, as we were unable to meet consumer demand for certain mass beauty products, which impacted our results of operations in fiscal 2019. As we continue our implementation of our Transformation Plan (including our fixed cost reduction activities) and other restructuring activities, any additional or ongoing supply chain disruptions or delay in securing applicable approvals or consultations for such activities may impact our quarterly results. The loss of, or damage or disruption to, any of our manufacturing facilities or distribution centers could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
We manufacture and package a majority of our products. Raw materials, consisting chiefly of essential oils, alcohols, chemicals, containers and packaging components, are purchased from various third-party suppliers. The loss of multiple suppliers or a significant disruption or interruption in the supply chain, or our relationships with key suppliers due to our payment terms or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on the manufacturing and packaging of our products. Increases in the costs of raw materials or other commodities may adversely affect our profit margins if we are unable to pass along any higher costs in the form of price increases or otherwise achieve cost efficiencies in manufacturing and distribution. In addition, failure by our third-party suppliers to comply with ethical, social, product, labor and environmental laws, regulations or standards, or their engagement in politically or socially controversial conduct, such as animal testing, could negatively impact our reputations and lead to various adverse consequences, including decreased sales and consumer boycotts. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act includes disclosure requirements regarding the use of certain minerals mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries (each, a “covered country”) and procedures pertaining to a manufacturer’s efforts regarding the source of such minerals. SEC rules implementing these requirements may have the effect of reducing the pool of suppliers who can supply covered country “conflict free” products, and we may not be able to obtain covered country conflict free products or supplies in sufficient quantities for our operations. For calendar year 2018, we determined that we have no reason to believe that any products we manufactured or contracted to manufacture contained conflict minerals that may have originated in the covered countries. However, since our supply chain is complex, we may face operational obstacles and reputational challenges with our customers and stockholders if we are unable to continue to sufficiently verify the origins for the minerals used in our products.
We have also outsourced and may continue to outsource certain functions, and we are dependent on the entities performing those functions. For example, a short-term transportation workers strike in Brazil impacted the distribution of our products and raw materials in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, resulting in increased logistical costs and lost revenues for products that could not be shipped. The failure of one or more such providers to provide the expected services, provide them on a timely basis or provide them at the prices we expect, or the costs incurred in returning these outsourced functions to being performed under our management and direct control, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
The above risks have been and may continue to be exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19, and our efforts to manage and remedy these impacts to the Company may not achieve results in accordance with our expectations or on the timelines we anticipate.
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We are increasingly dependent on information technology, and if we are unable to protect against service interruptions, corruption of our data and privacy protections, cyber-based attacks or network security breaches, our operations could be disrupted.
We rely on information technology networks and systems, including the Internet, to process, transmit and store electronic and financial information, to manage a variety of business processes and activities, and to comply with regulatory, legal and tax requirements. We also increasingly depend on our information technology infrastructure for digital marketing activities, e-commerce and for electronic communications among our locations, personnel, customers and suppliers around the world, including as a result of remote working in response to COVID-19. These information technology systems, some of which are managed by third parties that we do not control, may be susceptible to damage, disruptions or shutdowns due to failures during the process of upgrading or replacing software, databases or components thereof, cutover activities in our restructuring and simplification initiatives (including in connection with our Transformation Plan as well as the separation of the Wella Business), power outages, hardware failures, computer viruses, attacks by computer hackers, telecommunication failures, user errors, catastrophic events or other problems. If our information technology systems otherwise suffer severe damage, disruption or shutdown and our business continuity plans do not effectively resolve the issues in a timely manner, our product sales, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected, and we could experience delays in reporting our financial results. If not managed and mitigated effectively, these risks could increase in the future as we expand our digital capabilities and e-commerce activities, including through the use of new digital applications and technologies. There are further risks associated with the information systems of our joint ventures and of the companies we acquire, both in terms of systems compatibility, process controls, level of security and functionality. It may cost us significant time, money and resources to address these risks and if our systems were to fail or we are unable to successfully expand the capacity of these systems, or we are unable to integrate new technologies into our existing systems, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities, may be adversely affected.
We are subject to an evolving body of federal, state and non-U.S. laws, regulations, guidelines, and principles regarding data privacy and security. A data breach or inability on our part to comply with such laws, regulations, guidelines, and principles or to quickly adapt our practices to reflect them as they develop, could potentially subject us to significant liabilities and reputational harm. Several governments, including the E.U., have regulations dealing with the collection and use of personal information obtained from their citizens, and regulators globally are also imposing greater monetary fines for privacy violations. For example, in the E.U. a new law governing data practices and privacy called the GDPR became effective in May 2018. The law establishes new requirements regarding the handling of personal data, and non-compliance with the GDPR may result in monetary penalties of up to 4% of worldwide revenue. Regulators, including the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office, have actively enforced the law and imposed substantial fines, and are expected to continue to do so. In addition, the state of California enacted a data privacy law applicable to entities serving or employing California residents (the “California Consumer Privacy Act”) that required compliance by January 2020. More recently, Brazil enacted the General Data Protection Law (“Brazil LGPD”) regulating the processing of personal data, which became effective in August 2020. The GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act, the Brazil LGPD and other changes in laws or regulations associated with the enhanced protection of certain types of sensitive data and other personal information, require us to evaluate our current operations, information technology systems and data handling practices and implement enhancements and adaptations where necessary to comply. Compliance with these laws, could greatly increase our operational costs or require us to adapt certain products, operations, processes or activities in otherwise suboptimal ways, to comply with the stricter regulatory requirements, such as efforts to meet consumer demand for personalized products and services, in jurisdictions where we operate. The regulations are complex and likely require adjustments to our operations. Any failure to comply with all such laws by us, our business partners or third-parties engaged by us could result in significant liabilities and reputational harm.
In addition, if we are unable to prevent or detect security breaches, or properly remedy them, we may suffer financial and reputational damage or penalties because of the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information belonging to us or to our partners, customers or suppliers, including personal employee, consumer or presenter information stored in our or third-party systems or as a result of the dissemination of inaccurate information. In addition, the unauthorized disclosure of nonpublic sensitive information could lead to the loss of intellectual property or damage our reputation and brand image or otherwise adversely affect our ability to compete.
Our information technology systems, operations and security control frameworks require an ongoing commitment of significant resources to maintain, protect, and enhance existing systems to keep pace with continuing changes in technology, legal and regulatory standards, cyber threats and the commercial opportunities that accompany the changing digital and data driven economy. From time to time, we undertake significant information technology systems projects, including enterprise resource planning updates, modifications, integrations and roll-outs, as well as separation and carve-out activities relating to dispositions such as the separation of the Wella Business. These projects may be subject to cost overruns and delays and may cause disruptions in our daily business operations. These cost overruns and delays and distractions as well as our reliance on certain third parties for certain business and financial information could impact our financial statements and could adversely impact our ability to run our business, correctly forecast future performance and make fully informed decisions.
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Our success depends, in part, on our employees, including our key personnel.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to identify, hire, train and retain our employees, including our key personnel, such as our executive officers and senior management team and our research and development and marketing personnel. We have recently experienced several changes to senior management and the composition of our board of directors, and we are in the process of implementing our Transformation Plan, including our fixed cost reduction activities, and the separation of the Wella Business. Transition periods accompanying changes in leadership and changes due to business reorganization may result in uncertainty, impact business performance and strategies and retention of personnel. The unexpected loss of one or more of our key employees could adversely affect our business. Competition for highly qualified individuals can be intense, and although many of our key personnel have signed non-compete agreements, it is possible that these agreements would be unenforceable, in whole or in part, in some jurisdictions, permitting employees in those jurisdictions to transfer their skills and knowledge to the benefit of our competitors with little or no restriction. We may not be able to attract, assimilate or retain qualified personnel in the future, and our failure to do so could adversely affect our business. Further, other companies may attempt to recruit our key personnel and we may attempt to recruit their key personnel, even if bound by non-competes, which could result in diversion of management attention and our resources to litigation related to such recruitment. These risks may be exacerbated by the stresses associated with changes in our global business strategy, the implementation of our Transformation Plan and other restructuring activities, any continued changes in our senior management team and other key personnel, and other initiatives.
As we continue to restructure our workforce from time to time (including with respect to the Transformation Plan and other business restructuring initiatives, our efforts to manage the impact of COVID-19, as well as acquisitions and our overall growth strategy) and work with more brand partners and licensors, the risk of potential employment-related claims and disputes will also increase. As such, we or our partners may be subject to claims, allegations or legal proceedings related to employment matters including discrimination, harassment (sexual or otherwise), wrongful termination or retaliation, local, state, federal and non-U.S. labor law violations, injury, and wage violations. In addition, our employees in certain countries in Europe are subject to works council arrangements, exposing us to associated delays, works council claims and associated litigation. In the event we or our partners are subject to one or more employment-related claims, allegations or legal proceedings, we or our partners may incur substantial costs, losses or other liabilities in the defense, investigation, settlement, delays associated with, or other disposition of such claims. In addition to the economic impact, we or our partners may also suffer reputational harm as a result of such claims, allegations and legal proceedings and the investigation, defense and prosecution of such claims, allegations and legal proceedings could cause substantial disruption in our or our partners’ business and operations, including delaying and reducing the expected benefits of any associated restructuring activities. We have policies and procedures in place to reduce our exposure to these risks, but such policies and procedures may not be effective and we may be exposed to such claims, allegations or legal proceedings.
Our success depends, in part, on the quality, efficacy and safety of our products.
Product safety or quality failures, actual or perceived, or allegations of product contamination, even when false or unfounded, or inclusion of regulated ingredients could tarnish the image of our brands and could cause consumers to choose other products. Allegations of contamination, allergens or other adverse effects on product safety or suitability for use by a particular consumer, even if untrue, may require us from time to time to recall a product from all of the markets in which the affected production was distributed. Such issues or recalls and any related litigation could negatively affect our profitability and brand image.
In addition, government authorities and self-regulatory bodies regulate advertising and product claims regarding the performance and benefits of our products. These regulatory authorities typically require a reasonable basis to support any marketing claims. What constitutes a reasonable basis for substantiation can vary widely based on geography, and the efforts that we undertake to support our claims may not be deemed adequate for any particular product or claim. If we are unable to show adequate substantiation for our product claims, or our promotional materials make claims that exceed the scope of allowed claims for the classification of the specific product, regulatory authorities could take enforcement action or impose penalties, such as monetary consumer redress, requiring us to revise our marketing materials, amend our claims or stop selling or recalling certain products, all of which could harm our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities. Any regulatory action or penalty could lead to private party actions, which could further harm our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
If our products are perceived to be defective or unsafe, or if they otherwise fail to meet our consumers’ expectations, our relationships with customers or consumers could suffer, the appeal of one or more of our brands could be diminished, and we could lose sales or become subject to liability claims. In addition, safety or other defects in our competitors’ products could reduce consumer demand for our own products if consumers view them to be similar or view the defects as symptomatic of the product category. Any of these outcomes could result in a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
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If we underestimate or overestimate demand for our products and do not maintain appropriate inventory levels, our net revenues or working capital could be negatively impacted.
We currently engage in a program seeking to improve control over our product demand and inventories. We have identified, and may continue to identify, inventories that are not saleable in the ordinary course, but our existing program or any future inventory management program may not be successful in improving our inventory control. Our ability to manage our inventory levels to meet demand for our products is important for our business. If we overestimate or underestimate demand for any of our products, we may not maintain appropriate inventory levels, we could have excess inventory that we may need to hold for a long period of time, write down, sell at prices lower than expected or discard, which could negatively impact our reputation, net sales, working capital or cash flows from working capital, or cause us to incur excess and obsolete inventory charges. We also could have inadequate inventories which could hinder our ability to meet demand. We have sought and continue to seek to improve our payable terms, which could adversely affect our relations with our suppliers.
In addition, we have significant working capital needs, as the nature of our business requires us to maintain inventories that enable us to fulfill customer demand. We generally finance our working capital needs through cash flows from operations and borrowings under our credit facilities. If we are unable to finance our working capital needs on the same or more favorable terms going forward, or if our working capital requirements increase and we are unable to finance the increase, we may not be able to produce the inventories required by demand, which could result in a loss of sales. In addition, we are reliant on our cash flows from operations to repay our indebtedness, which may impact the cash flows that are available for working capital needs. Our ability to generate and maintain sufficient cash levels also could impact our ability to reduce our indebtedness.
The above risks have been and may continue to be exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19, and our efforts to manage and remedy these impacts to the Company may not achieve results in accordance with our expectations or on the timelines we anticipate.
Changes in laws, regulations and policies that affect our business or products could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Our business is subject to numerous laws, regulations and policies. Changes in the laws (both foreign and domestic), regulations and policies, including the interpretation or enforcement thereof, that affect, or will affect, our business or products, including those related to taxes, tariffs, corruption, the environment or climate change, immigration, privacy, restrictions or requirements related to product content, labeling and packaging, trade and customs (including, among others, import and export license requirements, sanctions, boycotts, quotas, trade barriers, and other measures imposed by U.S. and foreign countries), restrictions on foreign investment, the outcome and expense of legal or regulatory proceedings, and any action we may take as a result, and changes in accounting standards, could adversely affect our financial results as well as the trading price of our securities. For example, changes in sanctions against Iran have adversely impacted our net revenues and prohibit us from conducting business in Iran. Also, the Tax Act, enacted in 2017, introduced broad and complex changes to the U.S. tax laws that affect businesses operating internationally, and future regulatory, administrative or legislative guidance could adversely affect our financial results. See “—We are subject to risks related to our international operations”, and “—Network marketing is subject to intense government scrutiny, and regulation and changes in the law, or the interpretation and enforcement of the law, might adversely affect our business”.
We are also subject to legal proceedings and legal compliance risks in connection with legacy matters related to recently acquired companies that were previously outside our control. Such matters may result in our incurring unanticipated costs that may negatively impact the financial contributions of such acquisitions at least in the periods in which such liability is incurred or require operational adjustments that affect our results of operations with respect to such investments. We may not have adequate or any insurance coverage for some of these legacy matters, including matters assumed in the acquisition of the P&G Beauty Business, ghd, the Hypermarcas Brands and the Burberry fragrance business, the joint venture with King Kylie and the pending transaction with Kim Kardashian West. While we believe that we have adopted, and will adopt, appropriate risk management and compliance programs, the global nature of our operations and many laws and regulations to which we are subject mean that legal and compliance risks will continue to exist with respect to our business, and additional legal proceedings and other contingencies, the outcome of which cannot be predicted with certainty, will arise from time to time, which could adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Our employees or others may engage in misconduct or other improper activities including noncompliance with regulatory standards and regulatory requirements.
We are exposed to the risk of fraud or other misconduct by our personnel or third parties such as independent contractors, agents or influencers. Misconduct by employees, independent contractors, influencers or agents could include inadvertent or intentional failures to comply with the laws and regulations to which we are subject or with our policies, provide accurate information to regulatory authorities, comply with ethical, social, product, labor and environmental standards, comply with fraud and abuse laws and regulations, report financial information or data accurately, or disclose unauthorized activities to us.
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In particular, our business is subject to laws, regulations and policies intended to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing, resale price maintenance and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs, and other business arrangements. Our current and former employees, influencers or independent contractors may also become subject to allegations of sexual harassment, racial and gender discrimination or other similar misconduct, which, regardless of the ultimate outcome, may result in adverse publicity that could significantly harm our company’s brand, reputation and operations. Employee misconduct could also involve improper use of information obtained in the course of the employee’s prior or current employment, which could result in legal or regulatory action and serious harm to our reputation.
Violations of our prohibition on harassment, sexual or otherwise, could result in liabilities and/or litigation.
We prohibit harassment or discrimination in the workplace, in sexual or in any other form. This policy applies to all aspects of employment. Notwithstanding our conducting training and taking disciplinary action against alleged violations, we may encounter additional costs from claims made and/or legal proceedings brought against us, and we could suffer reputational harm.
We are subject to risks related to our common stock, our stock repurchase program and our Stock Dividend Reinvestment Program.
Any repurchases pursuant to our stock repurchase program, or a decision to discontinue our stock repurchase program, which may be discontinued at any time, could affect our stock price and increase volatility. In addition, the timing and actual number of any shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors including the timing of open trading windows, price, corporate and regulatory requirements, an assessment by management and our board of directors of cash availability, capital allocation priorities, including deleveraging, and other market conditions.
Further, we allow pledging by our employees in connection with certain executive ownership programs. A drop in our share price could result in pledged shares being sold pursuant to the terms of the pledge, which could result in a decrease in the trading price of our stock and subject us and our executives to civil and criminal investigations, including with respect to insider trading.
In the event that our Board declares a dividend, our Stock Dividend Reinvestment Program allows stockholders to elect to receive 50% of their dividend in cash and reinvest 50% of their dividend in newly issued shares of our common stock. As a result, stockholders who do not elect to participate in the Stock Dividend Reinvestment Program may experience dilution in their ownership percentage over time.
If the Distribution (as defined below) or the acquisition of the P&G Beauty Business does not qualify for its intended tax treatment, in certain circumstances we are required to indemnity P&G for resulting tax-related losses under the tax matters agreement entered into in connection with the acquisition of the P&G Beauty Business dated October 1, 2016 (the “Tax Matters Agreement”).
In connection with the closing of the acquisition of the P&G Beauty Business on October 1, 2016, we and P&G received written opinions from special tax counsel regarding the intended tax treatment of the merger, and The Procter & Gamble Company (“P&G”) received an additional written opinion from special tax counsel regarding the intended tax treatment of the distribution by P&G of its shares of Galleria Co. (“Galleria”) common stock to P&G shareholders by way of an exchange offer (the “Distribution”). The opinions were based on, among other things, certain assumptions and representations as to factual matters and certain covenants made by us, P&G, Galleria and Green Acquisition Sub Inc. The opinions are not binding on the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) or a court, and the IRS or a court may not agree with the opinions.
Under the Tax Matters Agreement, in certain circumstances and subject to certain limitations, we are required to indemnify P&G against tax-related losses (e.g., increased taxes, penalties and interest required to be paid by P&G) if the Distribution or the merger fails to qualify for its intended tax treatment, including if the Distribution becomes taxable to P&G as a result of the acquisition of a 50% or greater interest (by vote or value) in us as part of a plan or series of related transactions that included the Distribution or if such failure is attributable to a breach of certain representations and warranties by us or certain actions or omissions by us. If we are required to indemnify P&G in the event of a taxable Distribution, this indemnification obligation would be substantial and could have a material adverse effect on us, including with respect to our financial condition and results of operations.
22


JABC Cosmetics B.V. (“JABC”) and its affiliates, through their ownership of approximately 61% of the fully diluted shares of our Class A Common Stock, and KKR Aggregator, through its Convertible Series B Preferred Stock investment, have the ability to effect and/or significantly influence certain decisions requiring stockholder approval, which may be inconsistent with the interests of our other stockholders.
As a result of the completion of the Cottage Tender Offer in May 2019, JABC, through an affiliate, Cottage Holdco B.V., owns approximately 61% of the outstanding shares of our Class A Common Stock. As a result, JABC has the ability to exercise control over certain decisions requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors, amendments to our certificate of incorporation and approval of significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of the Company or our assets. In addition, several of the members of our Board of Directors are affiliated with JABC. Accordingly, JABC has significant influence over us and our decisions, including the appointment of management and any other action requiring a vote of our Board of Directors. As a result of its Convertible Series B Preferred Stock investment, KKR Aggregator has the right to designate two directors to our Board of Directors and, under the terms of the convertible preferred stock, KKR Aggregator has the right to vote on an as-converted basis. Moreover, assuming full conversion of the convertible preferred stock held by KKR Aggregator and no other changes to our capitalization, JABC would remain Coty’s largest shareholder, with approximately 50% ownership in the company, and KKR Aggregator would be the second largest shareholder, with an approximate 17% stake. This concentration of ownership may have the effect of delaying, preventing or deterring a change in control of us and may negatively affect the market price of our stock.
JABC’s interests and KKR’s interests may be different from or conflict with our interests or the interests of our other stockholders. JABC and its affiliates and KKR and its affiliates are each in the business of making investments in companies and may from time to time acquire and hold interests in businesses that compete indirectly with us. JABC or its affiliates or KKR and its affiliates may also pursue acquisition opportunities that are complementary to our business, and, as a result, those acquisition opportunities may not be available to us. Accordingly, the interests of JABC or KKR may not always coincide with our interests or the interests of other stockholders, and either JABC or KKR may seek to cause us to take courses of action that, in its judgment, could enhance its investment in the Company but which might involve risks to our other stockholders or adversely affect us or our other stockholders.
We are a “controlled company” within the meaning of the New York Stock Exchange rules and, as a result, are entitled to rely on exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements that are designed to provide protection to stockholders of companies that are not “controlled companies”.
Because JABC and its affiliates own more than 50% of the total voting power of our common shares, we are a “controlled company” within the meaning of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) corporate governance standards. As a controlled company, we are exempt under the NYSE standards from the obligation to comply with certain NYSE corporate governance requirements, including the requirements:
that a majority of our board of directors consists of independent directors;
that we have a nominating committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities; and
that we have a compensation committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities.
As a result of relying on the controlled company exemptions, the procedures for approving significant corporate decisions could be determined by directors who have a direct or indirect interest in such decisions, and our stockholders do not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of other companies that are required to comply with all of the independence rules of the NYSE.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.
Item 2. Properties.

We occupy numerous offices, manufacturing, distribution and research and development facilities in the U.S. and abroad. Our principal executive offices are located in New York, U.S. Division corporate headquarters are located in New York, U.S. for Americas, Amsterdam, Netherlands for EMEA, Singapore for Asia Pacific, and Geneva, Switzerland for the Wella Business.
23

Table of Contents
We consider our properties to be generally in good condition and believe that our facilities are adequate for our operations and provide sufficient capacity to meet anticipated requirements. The following table sets forth our principal owned and leased corporate, manufacturing and research and development facilities as of June 30, 2020. The leases expire at various times subject to certain renewal options at our option.
Location/Facility UseSegment
Amsterdam, Netherlands (leased)CorporateCorporate
London, England (leased)Corporate/CommercialCorporate
New York, New York, U.S. (leased) Corporate/CommercialCorporate / Americas
Paris, France (3 locations) (leased) Corporate/CommercialCorporate / EMEA
Geneva, Switzerland (2 locations) (leased) Corporate/Commercial/R&DCorporate / Wella Business
Singapore, Singapore (leased)Corporate/CommercialCorporate/ Asia Pacific
Ashford, England (land leased, building owned) ManufacturingEMEA
Bangkok, Thailand (owned)ManufacturingWella Business
Capella, Russia (owned)ManufacturingWella Business
Chartres, France (owned) ManufacturingEMEA
Cologne, Germany (owned)ManufacturingEMEA
Granollers, Spain (owned) ManufacturingEMEA
Hunt Valley, U.S. (owned)ManufacturingAmericas
Mariscala, Mexico (owned)ManufacturingWella Business
Monaco, Monaco (leased) ManufacturingEMEA
Rothenkirchen, Germany (owned)ManufacturingWella Business
Sanford, North Carolina, U.S. (owned) ManufacturingAmericas
Senador Canedo, Brazil (owned)ManufacturingAmericas
Wujiang, China (owned)ManufacturingAsia Pacific
Morris Plains, New Jersey, U.S. (leased) R&DAmericas

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
We are involved, from time to time, in various litigation and administrative and other legal proceedings, including regulatory actions, incidental or related to our business, including consumer class or collective actions, personal injury (including asbestos-related claims), intellectual property, competition, non-compete, compliance and advertising claims litigation and disputes, among others (collectively, “Legal Proceedings”). While we cannot predict any final outcomes relating thereto, management believes that the outcome of current Legal Proceedings will not have a material effect upon our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities. However, management’s assessment of our Legal Proceedings is ongoing, and could change in light of the discovery of additional facts with respect to Legal Proceedings pending against us not presently known to us or determinations by judges, arbitrators, juries or other finders of fact or deciders of law which are not in accord with management’s evaluation of the probable liability or outcome of such Legal Proceedings. From time to time, we are in discussions with regulators, including discussions initiated by us, about actual or potential violations of law in order to remediate or mitigate associated legal or compliance risks. As the outcomes of such proceedings are unpredictable, we can give no assurance that the results of any such proceedings will not materially affect our reputation, our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows or the trading price of our securities.
Certain Litigation. A purported stockholder class action complaint concerning the tender offer by Cottage Holdco B.V. (the “Cottage Tender Offer”) and the Schedule 14D-9, captioned Rumsey v. Coty, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:19-cv-00650-LPS, was filed by a putative stockholder against the Company and certain current and former directors of the Company in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, but has not yet been served. The plaintiff alleges that the Company’s Schedule 14D-9 omits certain information, including, among other things, certain financial data and certain analyses underlying the opinion of Centerview Partners LLC. The plaintiff asserts claims under the federal securities laws and seeks, among other things, injunctive and/or monetary relief.
A second consolidated purported stockholder class action and derivative complaint concerning the Cottage Tender Offer and the Schedule 14D-9 is pending against certain current and former directors of the Company, JAB Holding Company, S.à.r.l., JAB Holdings B.V., JAB Cosmetics B.V., and Cottage Holdco B.V. in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.
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The Company was named as a nominal defendant. The case, which was filed on May 6, 2019, was captioned Massachusetts Laborers’ Pension Fund v. Harf et.al., Case No. 2019-0336-AGB. On June 14, 2019, plaintiffs in the consolidated action filed a Verified Amended Class Action and Derivative Complaint (“Amended Complaint”). After defendants responded to the Amended Complaint, on October 21, 2019, plaintiffs filed a Verified Second Amended Class Action and Derivative Complaint (the “Second Amended Complaint”), alleging that the directors and JAB Holding Company, S.à.r.l., JAB Holdings B.V., JAB Cosmetics B.V., and Cottage Holdco B.V. breached their fiduciary duties to the Company’s stockholders and breached the Stockholders Agreement. The Second Amended Complaint seeks, among other things, monetary relief. On November 21, 2019, the defendants moved to dismiss certain claims asserted in the Second Amended Complaint, and certain of the director defendants also answered the complaint. On May 7, 2020, plaintiffs stipulated to the dismissal without prejudice of JAB Holding Company, S.à.r.l. from the action. On August 17, 2020, the court denied the remaining motions to dismiss. The case remains at an early stage.
PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Common Stock
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COTY.”
Stockholders of Record
As of June 30, 2020 there were 825 stockholders of record of our Class A Common Stock. The actual number of stockholders is greater than this number of record holders, and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners, but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees. This number of holders of record also does not include stockholders whose shares may be held in trust by other entities.
Dividend Policy
We began paying annual dividend on our common stock in fiscal 2011, and we began paying a quarterly dividend in fiscal 2017. On May 8, 2019, the Board approved a stock dividend reinvestment program giving stockholders the option to receive their full dividend in cash or to receive their dividend in 50% cash / 50% common stock. The election was made available to stockholders beginning with the dividend declared on May 8, 2019, and stockholders were able to make this election on a quarterly basis. As of May 11, 2020, our Board of Directors (“Board”) has suspended the payment of cash dividends (on common and preferred stock), to strengthen our cash and liquidity and in keeping with our 2018 Coty Credit Agreement, as amended. As we focus on preserving cash, we expect to suspend the payment of dividends through April 1, 2021 or until such later date that we reach a Net debt to Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”) of 4x. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board.
Dividends on the Convertible Series B Preferred Stock are payable in cash, by increasing the amount of accrued dividends with respect to a share of Convertible Series B Preferred Stock or any combination thereof, at the sole discretion of the Company.
Furthermore, we are required to comply with certain covenants contained within the agreements that govern our indebtedness, including our credit agreements and the indenture relating to our senior unsecured notes. These agreements contain customary representations and warranties as well as customary affirmative and negative covenants, including but not limited to, restrictions on incurrence of additional debt, liens, dividends and other restricted payments, asset sales, investments, mergers, acquisitions and affiliate transactions. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Financial Condition—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Debt” and Note 15—“Debt” in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
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Market Performance Graph
Comparison of 5 Year Cumulative Total Return (a)
Coty Inc., The S&P 500 Index, and Fiscal 2020 Peer Group (b)
coty-20200630_g1.jpg
(a) Total return assumes reinvestment of dividends at the closing price at the end of each quarter, since June 30, 2015.
(b) The Peer Group includes L'Oréal S.A., Inc., Estée Lauder Companies, Inc., Revlon, Inc., Shiseido Company, Limited and Inter Parfums Inc.
The Market Performance Graph above assumes a $100.00 investment on June 30, 2015, in Coty Inc.’s common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the Peer Group. The dollar amounts indicated in the graph above are as of the last trading day in the quarter. The returns of each company in the Peer Group have been weighted according to their respective stock market capitalization at the beginning of each measurement period for purposes of arriving at a Peer Group average.
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Equity Compensation Plan Information
Plan Category
(1)
Number of securities
to be issued upon
exercise of outstanding
options, warrants
and rights

Weighted-average
exercise price
of outstanding
options, warrants
and rights

Number of securities
remaining available
for future issuance
under equity
compensation plans(e)
(excluding securities
reflected in column(1))
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders  
Options(a)
17,898,383 $12.93  
Series A Preferred Stock (b)
495,074 21.52
Restricted Stock Units11,970,824 N/A 
Subtotal30,364,281  44,278,711 
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders   
Series A Preferred Stock (b)(c)
1,000,000 $22.39 
Phantom Units (d)
349,432 N/A
Subtotal1,349,432 0 
Total31,713,713  44,278,711 

N/A is not applicable
(a) For information about options, see Note 24,Share-Based Compensation Plans in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
(b) Upon vesting of the Series A Preferred Stock, the recipient receives, in cash or shares, at our sole election, the fair market value of our Class A Common Stock on the vest date of the Series A Preferred Stock less the sum of the fair market value of our Class A Common Stock on the original issue date of the Series A Preferred Stock and a hurdle price specified in the recipient’s subscription agreement. As such, the benefit provided under the Series A Preferred Stock will always be based solely on the increase in value of our Class A Common Stock after the date of grant and the Series A Preferred Stock will not have any value to the participant until the value of our Class A Common Stock exceeds the value of such shares on the date of grant plus the specified hurdle.
(c) On March 27, 2017, the Board approved an award of 1,000,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share, to Lambertus J.H. Becht in his capacity as a non-employee director to compensate him for services performed in connection with closing the P&G Beauty Business transaction, aiding with the transition of the new chief executive officer into his role and integrating the P&G Beauty Business.
(d) On December 1, 2014, the Board granted Lambertus J.H. Becht an award of 49,432 phantom units (the “December Grant”). On July 21, 2015, the Board granted to Mr. Becht an award of 300,000 phantom units (the “July Grant”). Both the December Grant and July Grant to Mr. Becht were outside of the Company’s Equity and Long-Term Incentive Plan. At the time of December Grant, the phantom units had a value of $1,000,009 based on the closing price of the Company’s Class A Common Stock on December 1, 2014, and at the time of the July Grant, the phantom units had a value of approximately $8,106,000 based on the closing price of the Class A Common Stock on July 21, 2015. Each phantom unit has an economic value equivalent to one share of the Company’s Class A Common Stock. The phantom units vest on the fifth anniversary of the grant date and, in the event of a change in control or Mr. Becht’s death or disability, the phantom units shall vest immediately. Within 30 days of the grant date, Mr. Becht had the ability to elect whether to receive payment in respect of the phantom units in cash or shares of Class A Common Stock. Mr. Becht elected to receive payment in respect of the December Grant and the July Grant in shares of Class A Common Stock.
(e) Reflects number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans, excluding share reserves related to terminated equity plans.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
453,488 shares of Class A Common Stock were repurchased during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020.

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Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
(in millions, except per share data)Year Ended June 30,
2020 (a)
2019 (c)(g)
2018 (d)(h)
2017 (e)(h)(i)
2016 (f)(h)(i)
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
Net revenues$4,717.8 $6,287.9 $6,841.8 $7,650.3 $4,349.1 
Gross profit2,726.6 3,789.4 4,123.6 4,622.0 2,603.1 
Restructuring costs130.2 34.2 134.9 374.8 86.9 
Acquisition- and divestiture-related costs157.3  64.2 355.4 174.0 
Asset impairment charges434.0 3,729.0   5.5 
Operating (loss) income(1,236.5)(3,688.4)(155.5)(420.9)254.2 
Interest expense, net242.7 225.2 200.6 218.6 81.9 
(Loss) income before income taxes from continuing operations(1,467.6)(3,945.4)(394.5)(658.0)138.8 
(Benefit) provision for income taxes(377.7)(54.8)(32.2)(259.5)(40.4)
Net (loss) income from continuing operations(1,089.9)(3,890.6)(362.3)(398.5)179.2 
Net income from discontinued operations87.2 121.0 234.5   
Net (loss) income(1,002.7)(3,769.6)(127.8)(398.5)179.2 
Net (loss) income attributable to Coty