Photo above: Scott schwerdt, President of the Nu Skin Americas Region, accepts the Bravo Growth Award Based on Revenue from John Fleming.
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When a young company grows by half its size in a single year, the industry salutes in appreciation. When the company is 30 years old, does business globally and increases revenue by 49 percent—$977 million in a single year—it’s jaw-dropping. But that’s exactly what Nu Skin did in 2013, catching the attention of Direct Selling News and earning it a special recognition, the Bravo Growth Award Based on Revenue.
The publicly traded company achieved record growth with 2013 revenue of $3.18 billion, earnings per share of $5.94, and growth in every region where it operates. Active distributors grew 41.1 percent. Nu Skin predicts the growth will continue, though likely not at the 2013 pace, and it already has. In its earnings report in March, the company continued its trend, reporting record revenue of $671.1 million, a 24 percent improvement over the prior-year period, noting that it will soon roll out its ageLOC® TR90™ weight-management system and will introduce the ageLOC Tru Face Essence Ultra skin care serum in the Greater China region.
Nu Skin Chief Financial Officer Ritch Wood attributed the phenomenal results to a series of initiatives the company has taken over the past few years that culminated in an outstanding 2013:
- A business transformation project that focused three separate business opportunities into one and also condensed three management teams into one;
- An innovative product launch process, which the company calls its Limited Time Offer. The LTO introduces a new product to distributors ahead of the official launch, allowing them to get personal experience with it, as well as to align their teams around the product;
- Strong initial sales of its ageLOC® anti-aging products, in particular ageLOC® TR90™, a breakthrough weight-management and body shaping system, which it unveiled to sales leaders in May 2013;
- Growth in every region, which includes 53 countries.
“We feel fortunate to be in a situation where many things came together,” Wood says. “It wasn’t really just last year. Most of the work happened over the last several years to create growth in 2013. We now have a product platform that has appeal to customers; we’ve done a lot of work in China to establish the foundation for that market to grow; we’ve created alignment with our sales leaders; and we have a team of employees who understand our vision since our business transformation project a few years ago. Last year it all came together nicely. Now we must take this base and continue to grow the business even more.”
Wood notes that Nu Skin revenues grew in every market. It earned impressive growth rates in China and Southeast Asia, but also in the Americas, where it grew 30 percent, and in Europe, an area where it grew 7 percent despite the region’s economic challenges.
“A lot of times it seems you have good growth in one or two regions but you have challenges in others. In 2013 every region grew,” he says.
Wood observed that growth in the Americas region sets the pace and expectation for foreign markets, and he credits the company’s global sales leaders for driving success worldwide.
“We have a group of leaders in the United States who we look to for global growth,” Wood says. “Our U.S. leaders are the founding leaders of the company, and they continue to be an important group that helps us build success around the world.” He adds, “Our success is only as good as their success.”
Nu Skin’s global growth has demanded physical growth, as well, and in the second half of the year the company opened its new Innovation Center and expanded U.S. headquarters in Provo, Utah, and this year opened the Greater China regional headquarters and Innovation Park in Shanghai. The expanded U.S. headquarters campus includes more than 300,000 total square feet and features five research lab areas, a state-of-the-art data center, environmentally friendly design, and modern office and meeting spaces. The heart of the Innovation Center is Nu Skin’s Center for Anti-Aging Research, which will be the company’s global center for innovation and scientific discovery.
“The more growth we have, the more good we can do. We’re as proud of what we accomplish with being a force for good as we are of our sales success.”
—Ritch Wood, Chief Financial Officer, Nu Skin
The Nu Skin Greater China Innovation Park is situated in the heart of Shanghai’s Comprehensive Industrial Development Zone and is the largest overseas investment project in the 30-year history of Nu Skin. Covering an area of over 38,000 square meters, the park is as large as six football fields. In an effort to protect the surrounding environment, the park was designed under the standard of U.S. Green Building Council LEED gold certification. It uses environmentally friendly building materials and includes green space covering more than 28 percent of the total area. The building also includes a lounge, fitness center, basketball court, and areas for other recreational activities, providing employees with a great work environment.
|Nu Skin’s Innovation Center includes an atrium with this indoor fountain as a focal point, which was constructed from 26 tons of Virginia Mist stone.
Growing for Good
The company’s biannual global sales convention also broke records, attracting 15,000 attendees from more than 50 countries. A highlight of the global convention was the fundraising gala for the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, a nonprofit charity with a mission to improve the lives of children by offering hope for a life free from disease, illiteracy and poverty. Fundraising from the gala and convention reached more than $2.2 million in donations for the Foundation.
“The more growth we have, the more good we can do,” Wood says. “Our focus is to continue to make a difference in the world. We’re as proud of what we accomplish with being a force for good as we are of our sales success. We want to keep on changing people’s lives and having a positive influence in the world. We hope that everyone who touches our business—distributors, customers, employees, people who benefit from our foundation—is better for it.”