L'Oreal confident after sales rebound
L'Oreal, the world's largest cosmetics maker, enjoyed strong sales growth last year, helping net profits hit 2.24 billion euros, and building confidence for 2011, the French group said Thursday.
"In the context of an upturn in the cosmetics market, L'Oreal achieved strong sales growth," the group's chief executive officer Jean-Paul Agon said in a statement.
"The group advanced in all zones, all channels and all business segments; more dynamic than the market, it bolstered its position as the world number one in beauty," he added.
Sales in 2010 reached 19.5 billion euros ($26.5 billion), a like-for-like increase of 5.6 percent.
Net profits hit 2.24 billion euros, up from 2.0 billion euros the previous year, allowing L'Oreal to increase its share dividend to 1.80 euros.
"Supported by an encouraging start to the year, we are confident in the group's ability to achieve a new year of sales and profit growth in 2011," Agon assured.
The company also confirmed that chairman Lindsay Owen-Jones would be stepping down on his 65th birthday next month and that his role will be reunified with that of CEO, in the person of Agon.
The board of directors took the view that "the environment was indeed once again favourable for the reunification of the roles of chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer."
The group, which boasts luxury brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Lancome and Georgio Armani Cosmetics, stressed its growing position in the new strategic markets of Asia and Latin America.
Last year L'Oreal China became the group's number three cosmetics subsidiary.
© 2011 AFP