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Apr 262011 Gossip
 
April 19 (Bloomberg) — L’Oreal SA, the world’s largest cosmetics maker, reported first-quarter sales growth that beat analysts’ estimates as customers bought more Maybelline makeup and Ralph Lauren fragrances. Revenue climbed 9.3 percent to 5.16 billion euros ($7.38 billion), the Paris-based company said today in a statement. The average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for sales of 5.03 billion euros. Excluding acquisitions and currency shifts, revenue rose 5.8 percent. Demand in the Americas and Asia and for products such as Giorgio Armani fragrances and Maybelline mascara helped drive sales after fourth-quarter sales missed estimates. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Agon reiterated that L’Oreal is confident of outperforming the global cosmetics market, which it has predicted will grow at least 3 percent in 2011.
‘Powerful Momentum’: sales at the consumer-products division, L’Oreal’s largest source of revenue, increased 6.3 percent, excluding currency shifts and acquisitions. Maybelline’s “powerful momentum” is continuing, L’Oreal said. Like-for-like sales at the luxury unit, whose products include Ralph Lauren fragrances and Biotherm skincare, climbed 7.7 percent. Professional-product sales rose 3.1 percent on the same basis, helped by sales of Inoa hair colorant. Body Shop revenue gained 0.8 percent. Comparable sales advanced 0.5 percent in western Europe, led by the U.K., northern Europe and “continuing dynamism” in travel retail, L’Oreal said. The situation is “more uncertain” in some southern European countries, the company said, while sales in so-called new markets increased 12 percent on the same basis. Sales in Japan fell 5.9 percent on this basis at the end of March, the company said. L’Oreal said it’s too early to evaluate the impact of last month’s earthquake on the year.
Taken from an article by Andrew Roberts
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