By  on June 5, 2009

PARIS — L’Oréal kicked off its centenary celebrations Thursday with office parties for its 67,662 employees in major cities throughout the world. In Paris, chief executive officer Jean-Paul Agon was master of ceremonies and presented two short films made especially for the event.

The first charted the milestones in the company’s 100-year history, while the second gave an overview of its philanthropic work undertaken by the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation. Agon also announced the launch of 100 new philanthropic programs worldwide, each initiated by separate L’Oréal offices to help people in their local communities.

During a press conference Thursday morning, Agon was upbeat about the company’s finances, despite the global crisis. “Of course, we would have preferred to celebrate the centenary under less difficult circumstances, but this should be seen as a new beginning for us,” he said. The beauty behemoth’s chief added L’Oréal is continuing to increase its market share, particularly in developing regions like the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Persian Gulf, and that he is confident the company will produce increasingly positive results this year.

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