L’Oréal has finished its financial year with a robust Q4 performance, surpassing analysts’ forecasts. Global sales reached 7.8 billion euros (US$9.46 billion) – a 4.8 per cent uptick on the same period last year.

The Active Cosmetics division, including La Roche-Posay, SkinCeuticals and CeraVe, enjoyed the biggest sales upsurge of 30.7 per cent over the period. While the Asia/Pacific region posted a 16.6 per cent increase in revenues boosted by 27 per cent growth in China.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the first half of 2020 impacted L’Oréal’s full year results, with sales dipping 4.1 per cent to 27.9 billion euros (US$33.86 billion).

Sales in Western Europe slipped 10.3 per cent for the year and declined 7.4 per cent in North America.

E-commerce sales were white-hot in 2020 with growth of 62 per cent across all divisions to account for 25 per cent of overall sales, said Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and CEO of L’Oréal.

“Thanks to the strength in digital and e-commerce, which has again increased considerably during the crisis, L’Oréal has been able to maintain a close relationship with all its consumers and compensate to a large extent for the closure of points-of-sale”, he noted.

In a year which saw prestige beauty sales drop 19 per cent in the US and 24 per cent in the UK, L’Oréal’s Luxe division outperformed the market with positive growth of 4.4 per cent in Q4. The portfolio which includes power brands such as Lancôme, YSL Beauty, Kiehl’s and Giorgio Armani proved resistant even in major regions hard-hit by the Covid-19 crisis.

Professional salon closures in key countries did little to dent the revenues of L’Oréal’s Professional Products division and sales rose in Q 4 to 893.8 million euros (US$1.08 billion), thanks to leading brands such as Kerastase, Redken and L’Oréal Professionnel.

L’Oréal’s Consumer Products division, including L’Oréal Paris, Garnier and Maybelline New York, reported sales of 2.991 billion euros (US$3.63 billion) in Q4 and 11.703 billion (US$14.2 billion) euros for the full fiscal year.

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