French beauty company L’Oréal reported a 5.5 percent rise in like-for-like sales for Q4, attributed to a rise in luxury sales with the figures slightly above analyst expectations.
The growing appetite for premium products as well as high demand from Asian consumers helped offset a more difficult market in the US, while sales were down 4.1 percent 6.5 billion euros on a reported basis.
Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO, said in a statement, “All the Divisions recorded sales growth, especially L’Oréal Luxe which is delivering spectacular growth, particularly in Asia. The Active Cosmetics Division achieved more than 2 billion euros of sales for the first time. Growth in the Consumer Products Division is being slowed by the continuing difficulties of the American and French markets, while sales in the Professional Products Division improved at the end of the year.
“Today more than ever, L’Oréal can rely on its unique portfolio of powerful and complementary brands, eight of which now have sales above one billion euros.”
Of the different sectors, the consumer products division recorded like-for-like growth of 3 percent, boosted by growth of brands such as NYX Professional. The Professional Products division saw a modest 0.2 percent growth in the period while L’Oréal Luxe posted growth of 10.5 per cent fuelled by the success of brands such as Lancôme, Monsieur Big L’Absolu Rouge and Teint Idole Ultra.
Sales exceeded €10 billion in the new markets, with Asia Pacific posting impressive growth of 12.3 percent with Chinese consumers driving growth. Western Europe and North America grew 2.6 percent and 1.7 percent on a like-for-like basis respectively.
For 2017 as a whole, revenue rose 0.7 percent to 6.5 billion euros while operating profit boomed put on 3 percent to 4.7 billion euros with margins hitting 18 percent.
Looking ahead, Agon said, “As for 2018, in a market that should remain dynamic and contrasted, L’Oréal more than ever before has the best advantages in terms of innovation, brand power, digital prowess, and the quality of its teams all over the world, to win market share and strengthen its Beauty leadership. We are therefore confident that, this year once again, we will outperform the market and achieve significant growth in like-for-like1 sales and an increase in profitability.”