Feb 11, 2021
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L'Oreal sales rebound helped by China and booming online business

Feb 11, 2021

L’Oreal, the world’s biggest cosmetics group, posted higher-than-expected revenue growth for the fourth quarter on Thursday, lifted by surging sales in China and supported by its online business during the coronavirus pandemic.

Makeup from YSL Beauty, a L'Oreal Group brand

Luxury retailers and beauty companies have had earnings dented by the closure of airport duty-free shops and high street stores, while the health crisis has changed consumer habits as people stay home and facemasks reduce demand for cosmetics.

But L’Oreal said demand for skincare products was particularly strong and it benefited from an easing of lockdowns in the second half of 2020, with the reopening of hair salons.

The French owner of the Maybelline and Lancome brands said sales reached 7.88 billion euros ($9.56 billion) in the October to December period.

That was flat from a year earlier on a reported basis but a rise of 4.8% when currency effects and acquisitions were stripped out, beating forecasts that ranged from flat to 3% growth.

The group posted a 5% drop in net profit for 2020 as a whole, at 3.75 billion euros, and said it would hike its dividend by 3.9% to 4 euros a share.

L’Oreal’s operating margins reached 18.6%, unchanged from a year earlier.

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