2000 Results : Another Year Of Strong Growth
Net Profit : Up By 24.2 % Group

Consolidated sales, at €12.7 billion, grew by 17.9% compared to 1999.

Net profit before capital gains and losses after minority interests(1), used to calculate earnings per share, amounted to €1,027.8 million, growing by 24.2 %.


Mr Lindsay OWEN-JONES, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L'Oréal, said : "2000 was an historical year : L'Oreal achieved an absolute record in terms of profit growth, the highest for almost 20 years. Similarly, group sales showed their highest growth since the consolidation of our American subsidiaries in 1994".

Notable Events in 2000


  • Successful new "star products" developed by the group research division
  • Increasing global development of strategic brands, especially in Japan, North America, and in several new markets where significant breakthroughs were achieved
  • Strategic acquisitions and alliances, which are a new source of growth for L'Oréal
  • Further improvement in profit margins
  • Excellent profit contribution from equity consolidated associates.
The success of star products


The group successfully launched several star products, including Water Shine lipstick and Full n'Soft mascara by Maybelline, Age Perfect skin care by L'Oréal Paris, the Fructis range of styling products by Laboratoires Garnier, and L'Oréal Professionnel's Maji-Contrast hair colouring range. In fragrances, Ralph by Ralph Lauren and Miracle by Lancôme were launched, as was the Vinéfit skin care range by Lancôme, Nutrilogie by Vichy and the Giorgio Armani make-up range.

All these products are innovations developed by L'Oréal Research. Once again the growth in Research expenditure was greater than that in turnover.

(1) Provisional results

Increased global development of the group's brands


L'Oréal continued rapid internationalisation of its strategic brands with major breakthroughs in several markets :
  • In Japan, the world's third largest cosmetics market, sales have increased by 46%, mainly as a result of the success of Maybelline, which, at the end of last year, occupied first place in the market in every make-up category.
  • In North America, sales grew by 31.4 %. There was particularly strong growth in the United States, where sales exceeded $ 3 billion for the first time.
  • Outstanding results were also achieved in numerous markets, such as Korea (+70%), Poland (+41%), Russia (+47%), Turkey (+28%) and Brazil (+44%).
Strategic acquisitions and alliances


Several acquisitions, completed in 2000, offer to the group outstanding growth potential.
  • 3 American brands : CARSON INC, world leader in ethnic cosmetics with a strong presence in the United States and South Africa, MATRIX ESSENTIALS, the North American leader in salon products, and KIEHL'S, a world-renowned skin care brand, founded in 1851 in New York.
  • 2 local acquisitions : Laboratoires YLANG SA, the leader in mass market cosmetics in Argentina and RESPONS, one of the three leading hair-care brands in Scandinavia.
  • A strategic alliance with SHU UEMURA, a pioneering Japanese brand in the art of make-up and skin care, which becomes the first Asian brand in the L'Oréal brands portfolio. SHU UEMURA will be consolidated from 1st January, 2001.
A further improvement in profit margins


Adjusted operating profit increased by 20.4 % to 1,481.3 € million. This represents 11.7 % of consolidated sales, compared with 11.4 % in 1999.

Both main sectors contributed to the improvement.

  Adjusted Operating Profit by sector(¹) (²)
  Year 2000 % Sales Growth
Cosmetics 1,426.3 M€ 11.6 % + 19.3 %
Dermatology (³) 57.3 M€ 21.8 % + 45.2 %
Consolidated Total 1,481.3 M€ 11.7 % + 20.4 %
(¹) Provisional results
(²) Including exchange rate gains and losses
(³) Group share, i.e. 50 %

The net financial charge, excluding exchange rate gains and losses, amounted to 159.3 € million compared with 104.7 € million in 1999. This takes into account the financing of acquisitions, completed mainly during the second half of the year. In line with the information given in September 2000, these acquisitions had a marginal effect on the results.

Consequently consolidated pre-tax profit increased by 17.5 % to € 1,322 million.

Corporate taxes have increased by 14% to € 488.6 million.

Net profit before capital gains and losses of fully consolidated companies increased by 19.7 % to € 833.5 million.

An excellent profit contribution from equity consolidated associates


Share of profits from equity consolidated associates amounted to €199.9 millions, of which SANOFI-SYNTHELABO accounted for €187.1 millions, a 45.7 % growth. This performance illustrates the success of the 1999 merger.

  GROUP ANNUAL PERFORMANCE (¹)
  Year 1999
(new criteria) (4)
in millions of €
Year 2000

in millions of €
%
Growth
Consolidated Sales 10,750.7 12,671.2 + 17.9 %
Operating profit (4) 1,265.9 1,540.8 + 21.7 %
Adjusted operating profit (²) (4) 1,229.9 1,481.3 + 20.4 %
Pre-tax profit of fully consolidated companies (4) 1,125.3 1,322.1 + 17.5 %
Net profit of fully consolidated companies 696.6 833.5 + 19.7 %
Group share of net profit of equity associates 136.5 199.9 + 46.5 %
Net profit before capital gains and losses, after minority interests 827.4 1,027.8 + 24.2 %
Earnings per share (€) 1.22 1.52 + 24.2 %
(¹) Provisional results.
(²) Including exchange rate gains and losses.
(4) In accordance with French Regulation 99-02, employee profit sharing had been reclassified under Personnel expenses ; in addition, exceptional income and expenses linked to current operations have been reclassified under Other operating income and expenses.


The Board of Directors has examined these provisional results on 21 February, 2001, in conjunction with the Statutory Auditors, and will approve them on 28 March 2001.

Contacts at L'ORÉAL
Shareholders and Market Authorities
M. François ARCHAMBAULT
Tel : +33(0)1.47.56.83.45
E-mail : info@loreal-finance.com
Financial Analysts and Institutional Investors
Mme Caroline MILLOT
Tel : +33(0)1.47.56.86.82
Fax : +33(0)1.47.56.80.02
Journalists
M. Lorrain KRESSMANN
Tel : +33(0)1.47.56.40.24
http://www.loreal.com


For further information, please consult your bank, stockbroker or other financial intermediary, your usual newspapers, or the Internet site for shareholders and investors http://www.loreal-finance.com; alternatively, ring the +33 1 58 13 51 36.

L'OREAL – 41 rue Martre – 92117 CLICHY–France.