This story first appeared in the October 25, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

PARIS — In the wake of “robust” third-quarter sales, L’Oréal reiterated it is on track to meet its full-year objectives — namely, earnings-per-share growth of more than 10 percent and a sales gain of 5 to 6 percent.

The French beauty giant announced Monday that its revenues for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 7.1 percent to 3.6 billion euros, or $4.3 billion at average exchange rates, year-on-year. 

Currency fluctuations in the quarter impacted L’Oréal’s sales positively by 1.7 percent.

For the first nine months of this year, the company’s revenues rose 4.7 percent to 10.75 billion euros, or $13.75 billion. Largely due to L’Oréal’s acquisition of Skinceuticals, the net impact of changes in consolidation amounted to plus 0.3 percent.

“As we expected, our rate of sales growth has continued to improve,” stated Lindsay Owen-Jones, L’Oréal’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Western Europe is gradually moving forward again. Strong growth continues in North America and the other regions of the world. The strengthening of the main currencies against the euro has led to a clearly positive exchange rate impact in the third quarter, for the first time in several years. In view of all these factors, we can confirm our sales and earnings targets for the full year 2005.”

Meanwhile, L’Oréal-owned Lancôme International has appointed Eric Stievenard international merchandising and purchasing director, succeeding Alexandra Kurssenbrock, who left the firm.

Stievenard joins Lancôme from Coty Inc.’s Lancaster Group Worldwide, where he was vice president of international merchandising. Before that, Stievenard was the international merchandising director at Parfums Christian Dior, where he worked for 10 years. His career began at the Estée Lauder Cos. in 1988.  — With contributions from Ellen Groves

St. Tropez Denies Sale Report

LONDON — A spokeswoman for St. Tropez in the U.S. said there was “no truth” to a press report here that the Santa Clarita, California-based self-tanning brand is up for sale for more than 60 million pounds, or $106 million at current exchange.

The LDC private equity division of Lloyds TSB and Phoenix Equity Partners are said to be bidding for St. Tropez. A spokesman for LDC said he could neither confirm nor deny the information, while a spokeswoman for Phoenix declined comment.

A U.K.-based spokeswoman for St. Tropez wouldn’t comment on the rumor, saying only: “The business is set for a fantastic future with geographic expansion on both mainland Europe, and the U.S. progressing nicely. We are always keen to understand and evaluate the opportunities for the brand and are 100 percent committed to St. Tropez becoming a truly global brand.”  — Brid Costello, with contributions from Matthew W. Evans, New York

NPD Taps Global Beauty President

PARIS — Tracking firm NPD Group has appointed Claude Charbit president of its global beauty business, a newly created position.

Charbit had been an adviser to NPD since July 2003 and led the company’s negotiations with Taylor Nelson Sofres for the sale of TNS’s Italian subsidiary, TNS Infratest. This coincided with the separate decision made by TNS Secodip to exit the beauty tracking business in France.

Andy Tarshis, president of NPD Europe, stated that Charbit’s experience will be invaluable to the firm’s plans to continue growing “our beauty business, [and] leveraging our current position as market leader in France and Italy for continued growth in Europe and beyond.”  — E.G

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