THE WHAT? L’Oréal has announced its results for the final quarter and full year of 2020. The French beauty giant saw sales rise 4.9 percent yoy (like-for-like) in the final three months of the year for an overall drop of 4.1 percent for 2020 versus 2019.
THE DETAILS In terms of individual units, Professional Products saw sales rise 6.5 percent in the final quarter of an overall loss of 6.4 percent for the year. Consumer Products saw 0.4 percent shaved off its sales in Q4, dropping 4.7 percent yoy for the full year. L’Oréal Luxe bounced back to the tune of 4.4 percent yoy in the final three months to bring its overall loss to 8.1 percent in 2020 versus 2019 and the group’s smallest division, Active Cosmetics was also its star performer with sales up 30.7 percent yoy at the end of the year, for an overall gain of 18.9 percent.
Asia Pacific was the only region to register a rise in sales in 2020 (+3.5 percent) while Western Europe was the worst hit by the pandemic (-10.3 percent).
Gross profit as a percentage of sales came out at 73.1 percent compared to 2019’s 73.0 percent, an improvement of 10 basis points. Overall, operating profit was down 6.1 percent to €5,209 million and amounted to 18.6 percent of sales, stable compared to 2019 figures.
THE WHY? Commenting on the annual results, Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal, said, “In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic, which spread across the world, triggered a crisis of supply due to the widespread closure of points of sale which led to an unprecedented, if temporary, decline of the beauty market.
“…Thanks to the outstanding commitment of its employees, L’Oréal has traversed this crisis in the best possible condition and has even grown stronger. As anticipated and announced, the Group returned to growth in the second half, with a fourth quarter in acceleration at +4.8 percent, and won significant market shares.
“Thanks to its strength in digital and e-commerce, which has again increased considerably during the crisis, L’Oréal has been able to maintain a close relationship with all its consumers and compensate to a large extent for the closure of points of sale. As a result, sales achieved in e-commerce rose sharply by +62 percent, across all Divisions and all regions, reaching the record level of 26.6 percent of the total Group’s sales for the year.