The L'Oréal group posted first quarter sales of €4.359 billion, an increase of +2.1% (based on reported figures). Based on a comparable structure and identical exchange rates, the increase in the group’s sales was +5.1%. The net impact of changes in consolidation—mainly as a result of the U.S. acquisitions of PureOlogy, Beauty Alliance, Maly’s West and Columbia Beauty Supply and Turkey's Canan—amounted to +2.0%.
“In the first quarter, we achieved globally satisfactory growth," said Jean-Paul Agon, CEO, L'Oréal. "Excluding North America, where the environment was exceptionally difficult, the group achieved growth of +7.5% in line with our projections. The 'rest of the world zone' continued to grow very strongly, particularly in Asia and Eastern Europe, and is fully playing its role as a powerful growth relay. In Western Europe, the start of the year is in line with our expectations in a market which remains solid.
"In North America, after an exceptional 4th quarter 2007, we had been anticipating a lackluster first quarter; in fact, it turned out to be more difficult because of lower footfall in department stores and larger than expected inventory reductions by our distributors.
"We are confident in our ability to accelerate our growth over the coming quarters thanks to favorable launch phasing, better prospects in North America, and continuing dynamism in the other zones. We are therefore able to confirm our annual like-for-like growth target range of +6% to +8%."
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