With dynamic markets in China and Hong Kong, Asia has driven L’Oreal first-quarter sales. Asia Pacific also shone among new markets for the French cosmetics company, where sales grew by 14.9 per cent overall.
Chairman/CEO Jean-Paul Agon describes the return to strong growth in new markets, especially Asia Pacific, as the highlight of the first quarter. He said consumer aspirations for iconic brands remains just as strong in China, which again delivered an outstanding performance in the brand’s consumer products division.
“Growth is being driven by northern Asia, thanks to the strong dynamism in China and Hong Kong where all the divisions are growing, with a strong performance by the major brands such as Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent and L’Oreal Paris, the number-one beauty brand in China.”
In southern Asia, particularly India, the active cosmetics division’s skincare brands have been performing well. Asia Pacific posted growth of 21.1 per cent like-for-like and 10 per cent based on reported figures, with first-quarter sales reaching €1.8 billion. Again, the region drove acceleration for L’Oreal Luxe and active cosmetics with new markets seeing 14.9 per cent growth.
E-commerce sales continue to increase rapidly, said L’Oreal, with 33.8 per cent growth to now account for 8.8 per cent of sales. Overall, the group’s sales grew 6.8 per cent like-for-like, or 7.4 per cent at constant exchange rates.
Based on reported figures, sales reached €6.78 billion, down 1 per cent, excluding The Body Shop. The disposal of The Body Shop was completed in September. The group’s reported sales for the first quarter of last year included The Body Shop sales amounting to €197.2 million.
For the first quarter, the consumer products division had growth of 2.6 per cent like-for-like but dropped 4.9 per cent based on reported figures. L’Oreal Paris has good momentum in China and India while maintaining strong growth in e-commerce. At the end of March, L’Oreal Luxe achieved growth of 14 per cent like-for-like and 4.4 per cent based on reported figures, driven strongly by Asia, especially China and Hong Kong, as well as by travel retail.
The active cosmetics division began the year strongly with growth of 10.2 per cent like-for-like and 9.1 per cent based on reported figures. All zones contributed to growth, with “striking acceleration” in Asia. SkinCeuticals sales posted “outstanding” growth figures with sales doubling in Asia.