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L’Oréal H1 revenues up 12 percent, North Asia sales flat

France’s L’Oréal announced first-half sales for 2023 totalled EUR 220.57 billion (USD 242.88 billion), up 13.3 percent like-for-like and up 12 percent on a reported basis, with sales up double-digits in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, while remaining flat in North Asia.

SEE ALSO: L’Oréal’s sustainability play in North Asia 

In North Asia, L’Oréal sales grew 3.9 percent like-for-like to EUR 5.7 billion and up 0.6 percent reported for the first half ending June 30.

The beauty market in mainland China continued its recovery in the second quarter, driven by a strong rebound in both offline and online channels. Against that backdrop, L’Oréal said it “significantly outperformed the market” and clocking strong growth across all channels and divisions during this period. This was fuelled by the introduction of new brands like Valentino, Prada and Takami; a “well-filled innovation pipeline,” as well as the gradual expansion into new cities.

By category, the region’s growth in the first half was driven by haircare, notably Kérastase and L’Oréal Professionnel; skincare, including Helena Rubinstein, SkinCeuticals and Takami; and fragrance with Maison Margiela and the Prada and Valentino launches. After a challenging start to the year, makeup recovered significantly in the second quarter, driven by both mass and selective brands.

Growth remained strong in Hong Kong, which benefited from the pick-up in travel from mainland China. In Japan, L’Oréal outperformed the market, thanks to significant momentum in consumer products, notably with Maybelline New York, and L’Oréal Luxe, with standout performances for Takami and Shu Uemura.

The travel retail business in the region “was affected by the base effect of last year’s anticipated invoicing,” added the cosmetics giant.

Elsewhere, L’Oréal’s SAPMENA-SSA region achieved outstanding growth of 23.6 percent like-for-like and up 17.4 percent reported to EUR 1.6 billion.

SAPMENA (South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa) continued to deliver outstanding double-digit growth in all categories and Divisions, making gains in both volume and value. By category, skincare was the main driver, fuelled by the expansion of CeraVe and strong growth in La Roche-Posay suncare; makeup was the fastest-growing category due to the rebound of Maybelline New York; fragrances recorded another strong and broad-based performance.

By region, growth was well-balanced between Pacific, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Middle East & North Africa. In the Pacific region, growth was outstanding, especially in the drug store channel; in India, growth was driven by mass and professional hair colour and hair care.

In Southeast Asia, L’Oréal recorded strong sales and outperformed in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, while the consumer products division in Vietnam was positively from the expansion of e-commerce. The Gulf states also recorded excellent growth over the religious holidays. In SSA (Sub-Saharan Africa), all countries saw double-digit growth, with particularly strong momentum in South Africa and Kenya, continued L’Oréal.

“In a beauty market that is more dynamic than ever, L’Oréal delivered a remarkable performance and further strengthened its global leadership in the first half. Growth was broad-based across all divisions, regions, categories, and channels, once again vindicating our balanced, multi-polar model. Growth continued to be driven by the dual cylinders of volume and value – testament to the success of our innovations and the desirability of our brands,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L’Oréal.

“In keeping with our virtuous circle, we improved our profitability, all while significantly increasing investment in our brands. At the same time, in line with our dual ambition of economic and corporate performance, we continued to invest in the transition towards a more sustainable operating model that will ensure long-term value creation.”

Looking ahead, L’Oréal said that it remains “ambitious for the future, optimistic about the outlook for the beauty market, and confident” in its ability to continue to outperform the market and achieve in 2023 another year of growth in sales and profits, despite an “economic context that is still uncertain.”