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The board of directors of L'Oréal met on February 13, 2012, under the chairmanship of Jean-Paul Agon and in the presence of its statutory auditors. At this meeting, the board disclosed consolidated financial statements and the financial statements for 2011 in which the company sustained growth in sales and saw solid increases in profits. For annual sales, the company reported €20.34 billion, a 5.1% like-for-like increase over 2010.
Commenting on the results, Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and CEO of L'Oréal, said, "2011 was a solid year of development, which has made the group even stronger. In a cosmetics market whose global trend was favorable, L'Oréal achieved sustained sales growth and confirmed its position as the world leader in beauty. All divisions are expanding. L'Oréal Luxury in particular posted a very good year, especially thanks to Lancôme, Giorgio Armani and Kiehl's. Internationalization is continuing across all divisions. The group is pursuing its conquest of the new markets, with Asia and Latin America leading the way, and is making clear progress in North America. 2012 will be a symbolic year, as the new markets are set to become the group's number one geographic zone. These performances demonstrate the relevance of our strategic thrusts and provide further confirmation of the key role played by research, innovation and creativity in our industry.2011 was also another year of solid construction for our operating profit. The strong growth in results reflects the virtuous dynamics set in motion: operational efficiency has advanced in all fields of activity, enabling us to prepare well for the future, and the profitability of the new markets zone increased substantially. The good quality of these results means that we are more confident than ever in the group's ability to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. We are well equipped to succeed in our strategy of universalizing beauty and to achieve another year of sales and profit growth in 2012."
In a generally sluggish market, the professional products division achieved 2011 growth of 2.5% like-for-like and 3.6% based on reported figures. Growth based on constant exchange rates, including the impact of acquisitions, came out at 5.1%. Initiatives in hair colorants and hair care enabled the division to win market share in all zones.
The consumer products division achieved growth of 4.5% like-for-like and 3.2% based on reported figures at end-2011. Maybelline posted another year of strong growth and L'Oréal Paris is accelerating. In Western Europe, the division is winning market share in France, Germany and the Nordic countries. The situation is more difficult in the countries of Southern Europe. In North America, the division is improving its positions thanks to hair care, makeup and skin care, and in the new markets, the division is performing well in all zones, with the exception of Eastern Europe. In Asia, the division is continuing to grow strongly, particularly in facial skin care for both women and men. In Latin America, the division had a good year, particularly in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, thanks to the success of its deodorants and hair colorants.
Bolstered by a lively market trend and the dynamism of its major brands, L'Oréal Luxury recorded 2011 sales up by 8.2% like-for-like and 6.5% based on reported figures. In all regions, the division has major stand-out innovations, with Visionnaire from Lancôme taking pride of place. Also, the Clarisonic brand, acquired in December, has joined the L'Oréal Luxury brand portfolio; it is the market leader in sonic technology skin care applications. In Western Europe, L'Oréal Luxury ended the year well, particularly in France, driven by the dynamism of Lancôme, Kiehl's and Diesel. In North America, the division recorded strong growth with its brands Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl's, Giorgio Armani and Viktor & Rolf. In the new markets, L'Oréal Luxury is growing fast. Thanks to Lancôme, Kiehl's and Shu Uemura, the division is making substantial market share gains in Asia; it is also continuing to grow in Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.