1St Quarter 2005 Sales: 3.54 Billion Euros Careers

Clichy, Thursday April 21st 2005 – 5.45 p.m

1st QUARTER 2005 SALES: 3.54 BILLION EUROS
PROMISING START IN NORTH AMERICA
CONTINUING RAPID GROWTH IN NEW MARKETS
WESTERN EUROPE REMAINS SLUGGISH


The sales of the L'Oréal group, at March 31st 2005, amounted to 3.54 billion euros.

Like-for-like, i.e. based on a comparable structure and identical exchange rates, the increase in the group's sales was +3.1%.

Currency fluctuations had a negative impact of -1.6%.

The net impact of changes in consolidation amounted to +0.1%, as a result of the acquisition of Yue Sai in China in spring 2004.

Growth based on published IFRS figures amounted to +1.6% compared with the first quarter of 2004 (restated to comply with IFRS standards).

Commenting on the figures, Mr Lindsay OWEN-JONES, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L'Oréal, said: "The promising start in sales in the United States, and the continuing rapid growth in new markets are very positive factors. In Western Europe, sluggish consumer spending made distributors cautious in their purchasing patterns while our own product launch calendar was a little less intense during that period.
It is important to emphasise, as we do every year at this time, that the significance of the growth rate for a single quarter is limited because of the volatility of launch programmes. Growth in Western Europe should gradually become positive during 2005, enabling the group to achieve full year sales growth fairly similar to that of 2004".

Cosmetics sales growth by operational division and geographic zone


1st quarter 2004 1st quarter 2005
M€ M€ Growth
  Published IFRS   Like-for-like IFRS Published IFRS
By operational division
Professional Products 510 491 499 +3.5% +1.6%
Consumer Products 2,040 1,823 1,861 +3.4% +2.1%
Luxury Products 822 819 799 -0.3% -2.4%
Active Cosmetics 273 270 300 +10.6% +11.1%
Cosmetics total 3,670 3,428 3,482 +3.0% +1.6%
By geographic zone
Western Europe 1,993 1,826 1,770 -3.0% -3.1%
North America 926 869 893 +7.8% +2.8%
Rest of the World, of which: 751 733 819 +12.7% +11.8%
- Asia 313 307 337 +11.5% +9.6%
- Latin America 160 155 161 +5.5% +3.6%
- Eastern Europe 128 125 159 +21.3% +26.6%
- Other Countries 150 145 163 +15.0% +12.3%
Cosmetics total 3,670 3,428 3,482 +3.0% +1.6%
Dermatology (1) 57 57 57 +4.4% +1.3%
Group total 3,732 3,484 3,539 +3.1% +1.6%
(1) Group share, i.e 50%



I F R S restatement of sales: No impact on profit


The application of IFRS standards by the L'Oréal group, from January 1st 2005 onwards, has resulted in the reclassification of certain operating costs, which are deducted from sales. Consolidated sales for 2004, which totalled € 14,534 million in accordance with French accounting standards, amounted to € 13,641 million on the basis of IFRS standards. These reclassifications have no impact on profit.

A detailed presentation of 2004 sales by quarter, division and geographic zone is attached in the annex.Download the annex

L’Oréal will hold an information meeting on April 28th 2005 to focus on the impact of IFRS standards on the 2004 financial statements. On the same day, the charts presented at the meeting will be available online on the Internet site: www loreal-finance.com.

is news release does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, L’Oréal shares. If you wish to obtain more comprehensive information about L’Oréal, please refer to the public documents registered in France with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers [which are also available in English on our Internet site: www.loreal-finance.com].
This news release may contain some forward-looking statements. Although the Company considers that these statements are based on reasonable hypotheses at the date of publication of this release, they are by their nature subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated or projected in these statements."


Contacts at L'ORÉAL

Shareholders and Market Authorities
Mr Jean-Régis CAROF
Tel: +33.1.47.56.83.02
http://www.loreal-finance.com

Analysts and Institutional Investors
Mrs Caroline MILLOT
Tel: +33.1.47.56.86.82
Fax: +33.1.47.56.80.02

Journalists
Mr Mike RUMSBY
Tel: +33.1.47.56.76.71
http://www.loreal.com

For more information, please contact your bank, broker or financial institution (I.S.I.N. code: FR0000120321), and consult your usual newspapers, and the Internet site for shareholders and investors, http://www.loreal-finance.com, or its mobile version on your PDA, at loreal-finance.com mobile edition; alternatively, call +33.1.40.14.80.50.