Commenting on the figures, Mr Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal, said: “The cosmetics market has unexpectedly proven extremely atypical in the first weeks of the year, with very strong consumption of luxury products, especially in Asia, and, on the contrary, a very slow start for consumption in the mass-market and the professional market. The market seems to have become steadier and is returning to a more usual profile. In this context, the Group delivered a good first quarter, up by +7.5% based on reported figures and +4.2% like-for-like. Performance levels are consequently very differentiated across the Divisions, with outstanding growth for L’Oréal Luxe, a satisfactory start for Active Cosmetics, moderate growth for Consumer Products despite market share gains, and a slight drop for Professional Products.
North America has recorded particularly strong double-digit growth at the end of March, with strong momentum for all brands, and is strengthening its presence with the acquisition of CeraVe, finalised in early March. First-quarter growth amounted to +2.8% like-for-like and +1.6% based on reported figures. Growth is particularly strong in the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany, but sales in France are still being held back by a market that remains difficult. The Consumer Products and L’Oréal Luxe Divisions are significantly outperforming their respective markets.
Asia, Pacific: the Zone is growing by +7.1% like-for-like and +8.9% based on reported figures. In Northern Asia, Hong Kong has returned to dynamic growth, thanks to L’Oréal Luxe whose strong growth is spreading to all the Northern countries, with the performances of the Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani brands. In Southern Asia, growth remains dynamic, driven by Australia, Thailand and Indonesia, where the Consumer Products Division is posting good results thanks to the Garnier and NYX Professional Makeup brands.
Latin America: the Zone reported growth of +4.6% like-for-like and +16.1% based on reported figures. Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay reported double-digit growth, driven by the strong performance of the Consumer Products Division make-up brands NYX Professional Makeup, Maybelline, Vogue and L’Oréal Paris. SkinCeuticals, Vichy and La Roche-Posay all contributed to the growth of Active Cosmetics. In Brazil, the market remains challenging.
Eastern Europe: the Zone reported growth of +12.7% like-for-like and +23.2% in reported figures. Growth was positive in all countries in this Zone, with strong growth in Russia, Poland and Turkey. All the Divisions are contributing to growth, particularly L’Oréal Luxe thanks to Urban Decay and Yves Saint Laurent make-up. The Consumer Products Division is winning market share in make-up and hair colour, thanks to Magic Retouch by L’Oréal Paris. Lastly, the Professional Products Division is growing with Smart Bond by L’Oréal Professionnel and the continuing dynamism of Matrix.
The Body Shop recorded growth of +2.3% like-for-like and -1.4% based on reported figures. The United Kingdom, Canada and Indonesia grew robustly and Hong Kong showed signs of recovery. Saudi Arabia remains challenging. Skincare continues to grow strongly, boosted by the launch of an innovative range of Peel skin cleansers and the success of Recipes of Nature masks.