PARIS — L’Oréal announced that fourth-quarter 2006 sales rose 9.5 percent year-on-year to 4.15 billion euros, or $5.35 billion at average exchange.
Jean-Paul Agon, the French beauty giant’s chief executive officer, confirmed the firm’s full-year profit target of double-digit earnings-per-share growth on the back of 2006 sales of 15.79 billion euros, or $19.84 billion. Sales were up 8.7 percent over 2005, or 5.8 percent on a like-for-like basis.
“The strong growth of our sales at the end of the year enabled us to achieve the announced growth target for 2006,” said Agon in a statement Thursday. “This growth was achieved, thanks to the renewed dynamism in Western Europe and the remarkable performance in the new markets, particularly in Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico and China. The Body Shop delivered a good second-half performance, strengthening the group’s growth.”
L’Oréal said the net impact of changes in consolidation added 3.1 percent to annual sales, mainly resulting from the acquisition of The Body Shop last year. The firm also acquired organic cosmetics brand Sanoflore in November.
L’Oréal’s full-year sales of professional products grew 3.2 percent to 2.13 billion euros, or $2.68 billion. Its consumer products business rose 5.4 percent to 7.9 billion euros, or $9.92 billion; luxury products posted growth of 5.3 percent to 3.77 billion euros, or $4.74 billion, and its active cosmetics division spiked 14.4 percent to 1.13 billion euros, or $1.42 billion. On a like-for-like basis, sales were up 3.8 percent, 5.8 percent, 5.1 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively.
The Body Shop, which has been consolidated since July 1, reported like-for-like sales up 9.7 percent to 435 million euros, or $546.5 million.
L’Oréal reported steady growth in Western Europe, where sales rose 3.7 percent to 6.99 billion euros, or $8.78 billion. North America saw sales increase by 2.2 percent to 3.95 billion euros, or $4.96 billion, impacted by the Federated-May merger, the company said in the statement. The rest of the world — which includes Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe — was up 12.8 percent to 4.07 billion euros, or $5.11 billion. On a like-for-like basis, sales by region were up 3.5 percent, 2.7 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively.