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L'Oréal Posts Healthy 2011 Financials, €20 Billion in Sales

Posted: February 13, 2012

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In 2011, the active cosmetics division grew by 3.2% like-for-like and 2.6% based on reported figures. With strong dynamism in Latin America, the United States and Africa, Middle East, the division is strengthening its position as number one in the worldwide dermocosmetics market. The division's growth is being boosted by good performances in North America and in the new markets, particularly Latin America and the Africa, Middle East zone. The very good scores of Innéov in Brazil, now the brand's number one market worldwide, are worth noting. In Europe, the division's growth continues to reflect contrasting trends in different countries: positive in France, but more difficult in Southern Europe and in Eastern Europe, where difficulties in the pharmacies channel are continuing. The broadening of distribution and the conquest of new health channels, such as drugstores and medispas, are an important element in the division's worldwide strategy.

By geographic zone, L'Oréal has also clocked in good growth. In a very slightly positive market, the company recorded a growth rate of 0.6% like-for-like in Western Europe, with good growth rates in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and in travel retail. Sales have been galvanized in this zone by Maybelline makeup and by L'Oréal Luxury. The situation remains more difficult in Southern Europe, and particularly in Greece and Portugal.

In North America, L'Oréal grew faster than the market, and recorded 2011 growth of 5.5% like-for-like. The luxury, consumer products and active cosmetics divisions all posted sustained growth. The consumer products division is significantly outperforming the market trend, thanks in particular to Maybelline and Garnier. The recently acquired Essie brand had a very good year. Growth in the professional products division is less substantial, but is nevertheless ahead of the professional market trend.

As of December 31, 2011, the new markets posted growth of 9.5% like-for-like and 8.3% based on reported figures. Excluding Japan, the new markets recorded growth of +10.6% like-for-like, driven by the constant dynamism of Asia. L'Oréal achieved annual growth in Asia-Pacific of 13% like-for-like and +13.4% based on reported figures. If Japan is excluded, growth in this zone amounted to +16.1% like-for-like and +15.5% based on reported figures. Despite the disasters which hit Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand during the year, the group is continuing to improve its positions throughout the zone, driven by markets whose dynamism remains intact.

At the end of 2011, the group is at -2.8% like-for-like in Eastern Europe. In a dismal economic context which is affecting all the countries in this zone, the group's divisions recorded contrasting levels of performance. The professional products division and L'Oréal Luxury are improving their penetration. In the consumer products division, a program of carefully adapted initiatives is under way, for Garnier in particular.

In 2011, L'Oréal achieved growth of 13.2% like-for-like in Latin America. Argentina, Mexico and Central America are the growth drivers in this zone. Brazil is still posting a solid trend. All the group's divisions recorded good performances, particularly the active cosmetics division. The very good results of Maybelline makeup in the consumer products division are worth noting.