PARIS — L’Oréal’s sales in the first quarter of 2021 outpaced financial analysts’ expectations, driven by double-digit gains in its L’Oréal Luxe, Active Cosmetics and Professional Products Divisions, and strong sales in China.
The maker of Lancôme, Garnier and Kiehl’s products registered sales of 7.61 billion euros, up 10.2 percent on a like-for-like basis and increasing 5.4 percent in reported terms.
Analysts’ consensus for organic growth in the three months ended March 31 was 9.3 percent.
Jean-Paul Agon, L’Oréal chairman and chief executive officer, noted in a statement released after the close of the Paris bourse Thursday that the group is continuing its acceleration, which began in the third quarter of 2020 and had increased sales by 5 percent on a like-for-like basis versus the first quarter of 2019.
“The performance of the Professional Products, L’Oréal Luxe and Active Cosmetics Divisions is remarkable, all showing double-digit growth,” Agon continued. “The Professional Products Division is posting significant growth all over the world. The growth of L’Oréal Luxe is driven by the success of its skin care brands, particularly Lancôme, Kiehl’s and Helena Rubinstein. Active Cosmetics continues to build on the strong momentum already seen in 2020. The Consumer Products Division is stable, still held back by its high exposure to the makeup category, which remains lackluster.”
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All of the group’s geographic zones were posting gains, except for Western Europe, which remained impacted by measures linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
“North America is performing well both online and offline,” Agon said. “All zones in the New Markets are growing above 10 percent [like-for-like], especially the Asia Pacific zone, which is returning to the extremely dynamic pre-pandemic growth rates, driven most notably by a fast-growing mainland China.”
L’Oréal’s e-commerce sales increased 47.2 percent versus first-quarter 2020 and now account for 26.8 percent of group sales.
Agon said L’Oréal is confident it can outperform the market and achieve growth in both sales and profits for 2021.
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