L’Oréal has reported a return to growth in its fiscal third quarter, which it said highlighted the “evidence of consumers’ robust appetite for beauty products and our innovations.
For the three months to 30 September, sales were up 1.6% to €7.04bn on a like-for-like basis (reported sales were down 2%), driven in particular by growth at its Active Cosmetics and Professional Products units.
Sales at Active Cosmetics surged up 29.9% on a LFL basis to €737.7m (+21.7% reported), Professional Products posted its best quarter in many years with an 11% rise in LFL sales to €861.7m (+5% reported), while sales at its Consumer Products unit edged up 0.8% to €2.86bn (-4.7% reported). However, the group continued to see weakness at its Luxe unit, where sales slid by 6.2% to €2.58bn on a LFL basis (-6.4% reported).
The results were helped by growth in its New Markets, where LFL sales rose by 4.2% (-2.8% reported), and in North America, where LFL sales were up 1.3% (-2.1% reported). However, results in Western Europe continued to be weak, with LFL sales edging down 2.5% (-0.7% reported).
The group reported strong results for key brands such as Garnier and L’Oréal Paris, even as NYX Professional Makeup gained market share. The launch of three new perfumes were well received, with the Luxe division gaining market share in nearly all Zones. The Active Cosmetics unit also reported market share growth, helped by a “dynamic activation strategy” for both online and offline channels.
Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon noted: “The Group was able to return to growth as soon as this third quarter thanks to the determination and the relevance of the strategic choices taken in all Divisions and geographic Zones. After a first half marked by a crisis of supply, linked to the closure of points of sale around the world, L’Oréal put everything in place, as early as June, to stimulate demand for its brands and products and to re-engage all its business drivers.”
Agon said it continues to invest in marketing, although it remains cautious about growth in the months to come, especially following new Covid-related restrictions across several countries.