L’Oréal 1H2021: booming sales see French beauty behemoth return to pre-covid growth rate

L’Oréal 1H2021: booming sales see French beauty behemoth return to pre-covid growth rate

THE WHAT? L’Oréal has reported its results for the first half of the current fiscal year. The French beauty giant saw sales soar 33.5 percent in the second quarter to push first half growth to +20.7 percent like-for-like (+16.2 percent reported).

THE DETAILS The rise was most notable in the professional products division, which saw sales rise 65.9 percent in the second quarter as restrictions were lifted across the globe. L’Oréal Luxe and Active Cosmetics also saw meteoric growth, at +45.7 percent and + 48.4 percent respectively, while consumer products put on a respectable 14.2 percent.

In terms of geographic zone, second quarter recoveries from Europe, North America, SAPMENA and Latin America saw all regions report double-digit growth in the first half, while North Asia continued its growth trajectory to be crowned the group’s best-performing region, with sales up 23.2 percent LFL in the first six months of the year.

E‑commerce continued to grow, the French beauty giant reported, at a more moderate rate due to the reopening of retail channels, and now accounts for 27.3 percent of sales. Benefiting from a slight recovery in international travel and the success of Hainan, Travel Retail has bounced back too, despite ongoing restrictions on movement.

THE WHY? New CEO, Nicolas Hieronimus, commented, “With the health situation still uncertain, the beauty market is gradually recovering and has recorded double-digit growth. As a result of the determination and continued commitment of our teams, L’Oréal is significantly outperforming the market, with an exceptional second quarter. By the end of June, the Group posted a very strong increase and returned to its pre‑Covid growth rate, up +6.6 percent like-for-like compared to the first half of 2019, with an acceleration of +8.4 percent in the second quarter compared to 2019.

“L’Oréal recorded market share gains in all Divisions and all geographic Zones. This remarkable performance reflects the relevance and healthy balance of our multi-faceted model in terms of geographic footprint, brands and categories. The Professional Products Division has successfully transformed its business model and achieved record performance. The Consumer Products Division recorded double-digit growth in the second quarter, thanks in particular to the recovery of make-up. L’Oréal Luxe also saw a sharp rise in fragrance sales and significantly outperformed the market. The Active Cosmetics Division achieved record growth, demonstrating that its brand portfolio is perfectly adapted to consumers’ health and beauty aspirations.

“L’Oréal has again gained strength in the early part of the year and is well positioned to continue to grow at its pre-crisis pace, leveraging on technology, data and Artificial Intelligence to become the Beauty Tech company. In the second half of 2021, we will pursue our offensive product launch strategy while at the same time investing in relevant growth drivers to spur the future growth and the desirability of our brands. We are more confident than ever in our ability to outperform the market and achieve a year of growth in both sales and results.”