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L'Oreal third-quarter sales beat forecasts, helped by North American growth

Nov 3, 2016

Cosmetics giant L'Oreal posted stronger-than-expected sales growth in the third quarter, as a "substantial acceleration" in North America helped make up for weakness in its home market of France.

The maker of Yves Saint Laurent make-up and Armani perfume said on Thursday sales rose 5.6 percent on a like-for-like basis to 6.15 billion euros (£5.51 billion) in the three months to September 30, beating forecasts for 4.5 percent growth.

L'Oreal's luxury division, which sells Lancome creams and Viktor & Rolf fragrances, enjoyed the strongest growth during the period, with sales up 9.3 percent on a comparable basis, above market expectations of around 6.5 percent growth.

The group's active cosmetics unit that manages La Roche-Posay and Roger&Gallet brands, and its consumer products division, which includes Garnier shampoo Maybelline make-up, also beat forecasts.

Active cosmetics' growth came at 6.5 percent, above forecasts of 6 percent, and its consumer products unit posted sales growth of 4.7 percent, while the market expected around 4 percent.

L'Oreal Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon said the group's luxury unit was winning market share in China and the United States.

"In North America, L'Oreal is accelerating substantially and is outperforming its market more strongly," Agon said in a statement. "Western Europe is growing, faster than the market, except for France where the environment remains very sluggish."

The company is holding an investor conference call at 1730 GMT.


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