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A.S. Watson opens its first Marionnaud flagship store in Asia

[Hong Kong, 29 September 2006] A.S. Watson Group, the retail division of Hutchison Whampoa Limited, introduces Marionnaud to the Asian Beauty market with the grand opening of its first flagship store today in the Mall of Asia in Manila.

Following last year's acquisition of the French-based Marionnaud, Europe's largest luxury perfumeries and cosmetics retail chain, A.S. Watson Group sees the potential in the growing Asia's luxury perfumeries and cosmetics sector hence has been planning for the chain's natural move to the East. With the opening of the 900-square metre store in Asia's largest shopping destination Mall of Asia, it represents the brand's first appearance beyond Europe and paves the road for future expansion in the region.

Ian Wade, Group Managing Director of A.S. Watson, said, "We are excited to bring Marionnaud to Asia as part of the company's strategy to maintain our global leadership in health and beauty. Asia's beauty market is one of the fastest growing in the world and we see this as a logical move."

Philippines is a developing economy and has a HK$2 billion beauty market with a 20 to 25% year-on-year growth. With over 160 exisiting Watsons Your Personal Stores already in the country, Marionnaud complements the existing health and beauty offer by creating an upmarket, luxurious shopping environment for consumers, according to Maria Norman, Strategic Director of A.S. Watson's Luxury Asia.

"Marionnaud is a unique concept combining selectively distributed fragrance, colour cosmetics and skin care all within one shopping environment combined with personalised service. We are in Asia to create inspiration for consumers as they become more and more beauty conscious. Following the opening in Manila, we will look at other destinations including Shanghai," said Ms Norman.

The 900-square metre Marionnaud is opened today in the Mall of Asia, offering an extensive range of over 5,700 perfumeries and cosmetic products from 70 beauty brands and 17 exclusive brands, some of which are first time launches in the Philippines market. Coupled with beauty treatments and nail spa service, Marionnaud targets affluent shoppers, both men and women, who look for beauty inspirational experience.

Notes to Editors

About A.S. Watson Group (ASW)

A.S. Watson Group (ASW) is the largest health & beauty retailer in the world. With a history dating back to 1828 when the company started as a small dispensary in Canton, China, ASW has evolved into an international retail and manufacturing corporation with operations in 36 markets worldwide. Today, the Group operates 19 retail brands with a network of over 7,400 retail stores running the gamut from health & beauty, luxury perfumeries & cosmetics to food, electronics, fine wine and airport retail arms. Also an established player in the beverage industry, ASW provides a full range of beverages from bottled water, fruit juices, soft drinks and tea products to the world's finest wine labels via its international wine wholesaler and distributor. ASW employs 98,000 staff and is a member of the world renowned Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited, which has major interests in ports and related services, telecommunications, property and hotels, retail, and energy, infrastructure, investments and others with businesses in 54 countries.

About Marionnaud

In 1984, founder Marcel Frydman opened the first Marionnaud store and since then the group has registered exceptional growth. Between 1986 and 1992, the company bought a large number of local perfume retailers and independent outlets.

Owning 48 outlets in 1996, the company acquired "Bernard Marionnaud" which was later floated in the stock market in France in order to raise enough funds for its development. As a result, the group acquired more than 1,100 outlets over the period of five years.

In 2002, the group continued its European growth in countries like Italy, Spain and Portugal and becomes the French leading perfume retailer. Today, Marionnaud operates over 1,200 stores in France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Morocco and Israel.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Malina NGAI

Ms Teresa PANG
A.S. Watson GroupA.S. Watson Group
Tel: +852 2608 8408Tel: +852 2606 8927
Fax: +852 2688 6371Fax: +852 2688 6371
E-mail: [email protected]Email: [email protected]