PARIS — L’Oréal on Monday updated its outlook for 2020 and postponed its annual general meeting in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The spread of the pandemic to all geographic areas, and the measures taken by various countries in terms of store closures and the containment of consumers, will have a higher impact than initially forecast on the consumption of cosmetics and beauty products, and therefore on our business in the coming months, even if we are currently seeing encouraging signs of recover in Chinese consumption,” the group said in a statement released Monday evening.
The world’s largest beauty maker said that “all L’Oréal teams are mobilized to enable the company to traverse this unprecedented crisis in the best possible way, and to reaccelerate as soon as conditions permit in each geographic zone.”
The group reiterated its priority is to ensure its employees and partners’ welfare.
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“The lack of visibility on the timing of an end to this health crisis leads us to suspend our guidance,” L’Oréal said, adding it will give more information when it publishes quarterly sales on April 16.
The maker of Lancôme, Garnier and Kiehl’s products said that sales in the three months ended March 30 should be down around 5 percent versus the same prior-year period.
In mid-March, L’Oréal had said that assuming COVID-19 and resulting disturbances wouldn’t exceed a few months and followed a similar pattern to the likes of SARS and MERS, it was confident in its ability in 2021 to again outperform the beauty market and achieve another year of sales and profits growth.
L’Oréal also on Monday said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its board decided to postpone the company’s AGM, initially scheduled for April 21, to June 30.
“The board of directors will in due course determine the arrangements to be made for the holding of the meeting, as well as for the dividend and its date of payment,” L’Oréal said.
Earlier on Monday the group announced that as part of its far-reaching solidarity program in France it will maintain its full employee count, put no one on partial unemployment or defer charges, and maintain its medical equipment orders.