By  on April 20, 2006

PARIS — French beauty giant L'Oréal reported Wednesday that sales for first-quarter 2006 rose 11.3 percent to 3.94 billion euros, or $4.72 billion at average exchange rates.

On a like-for-like basis, they increased 6 percent in the period ended March 31. The company said the net impact of changes in consolidation, primarily including the acquisitions of SkinCeuticals and Delial last summer, added 0.5 percent to the company's sales, and that currency fluctuations impacted business positively by 4.8 percent.

L'Oréal confirmed a rebound in Western Europe, where sales rose 4.5 percent to 1.85 billion euros, or $2.22 billion. In North America, they spiked 13.5 percent to 1.01 billion euros, or $1.22 billion, and in the rest of the world — including Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe — business clocked an uptick of 23.2 percent to 1.01 billion euros, or $1.22 billion.

L'Oréal's sales of professional products rose 4.8 percent to 522.9 million euros, or $627 million. Its consumer products business increased 10.7 percent to 2.06 billion euros, or $2.47 billion; luxury products posted growth of 13 percent to 903.4 million euros, or $1.08 billion, and active cosmetics registered gains of 19.8 percent to 359.2 million euros, or $430.7 million.

The company's dermatology division reported sales up 15.1 percent to 66.1 million euros, or $79.3 million.

"It is important to emphasize, as we do every year at this time, that the significance of the growth rate for a single quarter is limited," said Lindsay Owen-Jones, L'Oréal's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Nonetheless, this promising start to the year, and the prospect of positive exchange rate effects, means that we can be confident about the outlook for 2006."

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