In the last four to five years, direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty brands have grown at a breakneck pace with startups like MamaEarth and Sugar Cosmetics dominating the market. While MamaEarth’s revenue doubled and touched the Rs 950 crore mark in FY22, Sugar also managed to increase its top line by 75.6% to Rs 222 crore during the fiscal year ending in March 2022.
Although her top line has grown, Sugar seems to have omitted its projected revenue of Rs 300 crore for FY22 by a significant margin.
The revenue from the sale of cosmetic and beauty products increased by 75.6% to Rs 221.8 crore in FY22 from Rs 126.34 crore in FY21. The company collected Rs 3 lakh as incentives for export. Apart from this, Sugar also recorded non-operating income of Rs 2 crore which includes interest earned on current investments.
Sugar sells its products on e-commerce marketplaces, including Amazon, Nykaa, and Myntra. It also retails through its own website and mobile app, making it easy to sell outside of India. Additionally, the brand leverages social media channels to reach its target audience through ad campaigns, paid partnerships, and influencer marketing programs. According to the company, lipsticks are the brand’s top sellers, contributing about 60% of revenue, followed by facial products. During FY22, it also entered the hair category through the acquisition from ENN Beauty.
On the expense front, advertising and sales promotion expenses accounted for 32.5% of total spending. The cost shot up 2.8X to Rs 97.54 crore in FY22 from Rs 34.36 crore in FY21. Procurement cost of cosmetic products from manufacturers was another major cost and increased around 63% to Rs 66.35 crore during FY22.
Employee benefit expenses rose 85% to Rs 35.52 crore during the year from Rs 19.2 crore in FY21. Sugar also employs outsourced support and labor for its chain operations of supply and spent Rs 43.61 crore on the same. This cost increased over 98% from Rs 22 crore in FY21.
The company led by Vineeta Singh incurred freight and packing charges of Rs 13.25 crore in FY22, which increased by 50.6% from Rs 8.8 crore in the previous fiscal year (FY twenty-one). Surpassing revenue, the company’s total spending skyrocketed to Rs 300 crore in FY22, almost double from Rs 149 crore in FY21.
In expense lines, the company’s loss rose 3.6-fold to Rs 76.2 crore in FY22 against Rs 21.1 crore recorded in FY21. The high cash burn led to a 4-fold increase in operating cash outflows to Rs 84 crore during the last fiscal year compared to Rs 20.6 crore in fiscal year 21.
Regarding the indices, the EBITDA margin and ROCE deteriorated to -30.19% and -78.75% during the year. At unit level, the Mumbai-based company spent Rs 1.35 to earn Rs 1 of operating income in FY22.
In May, Sugar collected $50 million in a Serie D round led by L Catterton with participation from existing investors such as A91 Partners, Elevation Capital and India Quotient. During the fundraiser, the company reclaimed that its current annualized revenue run rate is around Rs 500 crore and expects to reach Rs 2000 crore in the next 24 to 36 months.
Although the company missed its own target, it appears to have grown well in FY22 with more customers turning to homegrown D2C brands. That being said, most D2C companies see their growth stall at some point for reasons like high customer acquisition costs and more. And with rising inflation, consumers may not be spending as much on non-essential items like cosmetics, which could perhaps be reflected in Sugar Cosmetics’ financials in the current fiscal year.