ADA — For the first time in four years, sales for direct-selling giant Amway Corp. have grown on a year-over-year basis.
The privately-held Amway said today that it generated $8.8 billion in annual sales for the 2018 calendar year, growth of 2 percent.
The company said the results stemmed from “broad-based” growth in several top markets, including its home market in the U.S., as well as in China, Thailand and India. The turnaround — which the company projected when it announced its sales last year — was fueled by “significant investments” in the company’s digital presence and product innovations, according to the company.
In Amway’s largest market in China, 70 percent of sales came via ecommerce, according to a statement.
“Amway is capitalizing on the world’s growing appetite for ecommerce,” Amway co-Chairman Doug DeVos stated. “Momentum is building, investments in digital and innovative products are increasing, and healthy, steady growth is anticipated to continue for the foreseeable future.”
Nutrition and wellness products accounted for 52 percent of Amway’s sales, while beauty and personal care were 26 percent.
For 2018, Amway’s top markets were China, Korea, the U.S., Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Russia, Malaysia and Italy.
“Amway’s innovative health and beauty products that are personalized and easy to use are producing strong results for us,” stated Amway COO Mike Cazer. “As we accelerate investments in these and other areas such as ecommerce and integrated digital experiences, Amway will go far beyond meeting consumer demand, driving continued growth well into the future.”
The return to growth last year came after Amway’s sales slumped from 2013 to 2017, as MiBiz previously reported. Even with the positive sales gains in 2018, Amway’s revenues were still off more than 25 percent compared to its peak of $11.8 billion in 2013.
The growth also comes as Amway has made several strategic adjustments in the past year.
In September, the company confirmed its plans to close two manufacturing plants at its Ada headquarters campus by the end of 2019. The facilities housed durable goods and laundry soap powder manufacturing.
At the end of 2018, the company also confirmed that it eliminated 45 management-level positions spanning the human resources, supply chain, legal, I.T., strategic planning, and finance departments.
Amway said at the time it employs more than 17,000 employees worldwide, including approximately 4,000 in West Michigan.