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L'Oréal Sales Up 10.9% for Nine Months Ending Sept. 30

Posted: November 6, 2012

For its nine months 2012 sales, L'Oréal reported strong sales growth of 10.9% based on reported figures (6.2% excluding currency fluctuations), reaching €16.73 billion. The like-for-like sales growth for the period was an increase of 5.6%.

Commenting on the figures, Jean-Paul Agon, L'Oréal chairman and CEO, said, "The quarter confirms the good growth in our sales observed since the start of the year. In a market which reflects highly contrasting trends in different geographic zones and distribution channels, L'Oréal is maintaining its course. Despite the market slowdown observed in Asia and in travel retail, L'Oréal Luxe is proving highly dynamic, thanks to the vitality of its brands and major launches such as La vie est belle by Lancôme. The consumer products division recorded solid growth quarter after quarter, and active cosmetics is accelerating, driven by its international expansion. In geographic terms, L'Oréal is continuing its conquests in North America, and in the new markets. In Asia, the group continues to grow faster than the market. Eastern Europe is gradually recovering, and Latin America is accelerating. The figure for Western Europe reflects good performances in several major countries, and the difficult situations in the southern countries. Overall, in the current economic environment, the group is outperforming its market, thanks to the quality and diversity of its brand portfolio, and its innovation power. We confirm our targets for 2012, and our ambition to achieve another year of growth in sales, results and profitability."

The professional products division posted growth of 2% like-for-like for the nine months ending September 30, and 7.2% based on reported figures. The market in Western Europe was tougher during the third quarter, but the division is continuing its rollout in new markets. In geographic terms, the division is consolidating its position in Western Europe and in the U.S., in markets that have been affected by a drop in the number of hair salon visits. New markets are supporting the division's growth, particularly India, China, Indonesia, Russia, Poland, Ukraine and the Gulf states.

The consumer products division achieved sales growth at end-September of 4.8% like-for-like and 9% based on reported figures. The division continued to make market share gains in Western Europe and in North America. In Western Europe, in a sluggish market, the division is strengthening its positions in hair care and facial skin care, particularly in France, the U.K., Germany and Northern Europe. The southern countries are still proving difficult in a depressed market context. In North America, the division reinforced its positions in a market that is growing slightly, and activity in Eastern Europe is improving, with the rebound of Garnier in facial skin care and hair colorants. Latin America also is accelerating, thanks to the strong growth of Maybelline and the success of Elvive Triple Resist enriched with Arginine, while Asia-Pacific is posting good scores in China, India, Thailand and Indonesia, and the Africa-Middle East zone is continuing its rollout, driven by the Gulf states and Turkey.

L'Oréal Luxe sales grew at end-September by 9.1% like-for-like and 17.4% based on reported figures, thanks in particular to the acquisition of Clarisonic. In a market which has slowed slightly, L'Oréal Luxe is continuing to win market share worldwide, thanks to its innovations, and its increasingly high-end customer experience. In Western Europe, where the market is sluggish, the division is advancing, thanks to the dynamism of its major brands and the success of designer fragrances. In North America, L'Oréal Luxe is winning market share with Clarisonic, Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl's and Viktor & Rolf. In new markets, the division's growth continues to be strong and higher than the market trend, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. Kiehl's is building up its sales substantially in Japan, following on from its successes in South Korea and China. In Asia, Lancôme continued to prove dynamic, and this was also the case for Yves Saint Laurent. In the Middle East, Giorgio Armani is advancing with its premium perfume line Armani Privé, and in Latin America, Kiehl's is continuing its rollout in Brazil, and Ralph Lauren is improving its positions. In travel retail, in a market which, as expected, is decelerating, the division is maintaining its leadership.

At end-September, the active cosmetics division posted sales growth of 5.5% like-for-like and 7.2% based on reported figures. The division achieved slight growth in Western Europe and is continuing to accelerate in North America. All the geographic zones have achieved growth. In Western Europe, the division is winning market share, and North America is accelerating, particularly in the U.S., thanks to the opening of new sales outlets at Walgreens. The new markets also remained dynamic, despite the slowdown in Asia.

At the end of September, The Body Shop recorded like-for-like sales growth at 5.3%. The Body Shop is growing strongly in the new markets, especially in the Middle East and in South East Asia. In the mature markets, the brand is feeling the impact of the tougher economic environment in Southern Europe, but maintains a solid performance in the rest of Europe. The Body Shop continues to recruit new customers particularly through the rapid development of its e-commerce channel, with 20 sites now live. The brand is rolling out its innovative Pulse boutique concept globally, focused on story-selling and a unique and interactive consumer experience. At September 30, 2012, The Body Shop has a total of 2,787 stores.

And despite increased competitive intensity from generic competition, Galderma recorded sales at September 30, 2012, up by 8.2% like-for-like and 16.7% based on reported figures. In geographic terms, growth in Asia and Latin America was particularly robust and was partially offset by results from Europe.

To learn more about the nine months ending September 30, 2012, financial results for L'Oréal, including additional information on geographic zone sales growth, click here.