PARIS — L’Oréal returned to its pre-COVID-19 growth rate in the first half of 2021, following an acceleration of sales in the second quarter of this year.
The world’s largest beauty company posted a 29.6 percent sales gain in reported terms to 7.58 billion euros. On a like-for-like basis, sales rose 33.5 percent.
“By the end of June, the group posted a very strong increase and returned to its pre-COVID-19 growth rate, up 6.6 percent like-for-like compared to the first half of 2019, with an acceleration of 8.4 percent in the second quarter compared to 2019,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, chief executive officer of L’Oréal, in a statement released Thursday after the close of the Paris Bourse.
In the six months ended June 30, the maker of Lancôme, Kiehl’s and L’Oréal Paris products posted sales of 15.2 billion euros, up 16.2 percent in reported terms and 20.7 percent on a like-for-like basis.
“L’Oréal recorded market-share gains in all divisions and all geographic zones,” Hieronimus continued. “The Professional Products Division has successfully transformed its business model and achieved record performance. The Consumer Products Division recorded double-digit growth in the second quarter, thanks in particular to the recovery of makeup. L’Oréal Luxe also saw a sharp rise in fragrance sales and significantly outperformed the market. The Active Cosmetics Division achieved record growth, demonstrating that is brand portfolio is perfectly adapted to consumers’ health and beauty aspirations.”
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Each of the group’s geographic zones registered double-digit sales gains.
“North Asia continued to perform well, still driven by mainland China, where L’Oréal continues to strengthen its undisputed leadership, while North America saw a return to growth with tremendous acceleration in the second quarter,” Hieronimus said. “In Europe, L’Oréal significantly outperformed the market, which is starting to recover gradually; all countries in this zone are growing, led by the United Kingdom, France and Russia. The group performed well in SAPMENA-SSA [or South Asia Pacific, Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa] and in Latin America, with a marked progression in Brazil.”
In the half, e-commerce represented 27.3 percent of the company’s total sales. L’Oréal’s travel retail business bounced back, thanks to a slight recovery in international travel and strong business in Hainan, the island in China that’s become a tax-free shopping mecca.
“L’Oréal has again gained strength in the early part of the year and is well-positioned to continue to grow at its pre-crisis pace, leveraging on technology, data and artificial intelligence to become the beauty tech company,” Hieronimus said. “We are more than confident than ever in our ability to outperform the market and achieve a year of growth in both sales and results.”
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