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L’Oréal sales up 8 percent as North Asia continues ‘gradual recovery’

L’Oréal said sales amounted to EUR 11.24 billion, up 8.3 percent, for the first quarter, with the beauty giant posting double-digit growth in all regions except for North Asia.

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Sales in North Asia contracted 1.1 percent for the quarter on a like-for-like basis, and fell 3.9 percent on a reported basis, hindered by travel retail that, while improving, continued to weigh on growth in the region, given year-on-year comparisons and sell-out trends.

In mainland China, L’Oréal sales lifted 6.2 percent, despite a sluggish beauty market, while Japan and Hong Kong SAR both benefited from the resurgence of tourism, posting double-digit growth.

.By division, growth in North Asia was driven by consumer products, thanks to strong growth of L’Oréal Paris, notably ‘Age Perfect’. Dermatological beauty was boosted by the strong acceleration of CeraVe, and professional products grew thanks to the ongoing success of Kérastase. L’Oréal luxe continued to outgrow its market in mainland China, with momentum particularly strong for premium skincare, particularly Helena Rubinstein, and the couture brands, including Yves Saint Laurent, Maison Margiela, Prada and Valentino.

Elsewhere, sales in the SAPMENA-SSA (South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa) region, grew 16.4 percent like-for-like and 14.4 percent reported.

By category, skincare was the “most dynamic,” led by consumer products and dermatological beauty; followed by haircare, and fragrances.

By division, the French company saw “remarkable performances” in consumer products (Maybelline, Garnier, and L’Oréal Paris, among others), where all categories grew in double-digits, and dermatological beauty, where CeraVe had another “outstanding quarter.”

By country, the main growth contributors were the Australia-New Zealand and GCC clusters, as well as South-East Asia.

Online remained “particularly dynamic” across the region, notably in South-East Asia, the company added.

2024 is off to a very good start with like-for-like growth of +9.4%, perfectly illustrating the power of our unique model. We are a pure player in beauty, a category that has once again proven its relentless growth capacity. Our multipolar approach to beauty – from luxury to mass, professional to dermatological, in all channels, all price points, and all geographies – allows us to seize all growth opportunities and offset temporary points of softness,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L’Oréal.

“And the first quarter was perfect proof. Continued double-digit growth in Europe, coupled with ongoing strength in emerging markets more than offset the only gradual recovery in North Asia. The outstanding performances of dermatology and mass compensated the short-term challenges in luxury. All in all, adjusted for the favorable phasing in North America, our like-for-like growth was a strong 8.1 percent, not only maintaining our rhythm, but once again significantly outperforming the dynamic beauty market.

“In an environment that continues to be marked by economic and geopolitical tensions, we are optimistic about the outlook for the beauty market, and confident in our ability to keep outperforming it and to achieve another year of growth in sales and profit.”