Apr 15, 2021
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L'Oreal beauty sales recovery accelerates, helped by China

Apr 15, 2021

Lancome maker L'Oreal on Thursday posted a further pickup in sales in the first quarter, helped by strong growth in China and online demand for beauty products.

Photo: Lancome

The French group had begun to recover already from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic's hit to revenue, as retailers re-opened in much of Asia and shoppers turned increasingly to e-commerce for their face creams and hair dyes.

L'Oreal said sales reached 7.6 billion euros ($9.1 billion)in the three months to March, up 10.2% like-for-like, which strips out the effect of acquisitions and currency changes.

That beat the 8.7% consensus forecast cited by analysts at Jefferies, though the range of expectations varied widely.

Western Europe underperformed other regions, with non-essential shops and beauty chains still closed in countries such as France and Italy to tackle the pandemic.

The company's consumer products division, which sells brands like Maybelline, also lagged other units, which L'Oreal said was due to its high exposure to make-up, where demand is sluggish compared with other products like skincare.

L'Oreal Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon said in a statement the company was in "fighting spirit mode" and investing in new product launches, adding the group was confident it could grow sales and profits in 2021.

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