First Quarter 2008 Sales Careers


4.359 billion euros
Globally satisfactory start to the year
+5.1% like-for-like
+7.5% excluding North America
Confidence in growth acceleration over the upcoming quarters
Annual targets confirmed

L'Oréal Finance 4.359 billion euros


GLOBALLY SATISFACTORY START TO THE YEAR
+5.1% like-for-like
+7.5% excluding North America



CONFIDENCE IN GROWTH ACCELERATION
OVER THE UPCOMING QUARTERS



ANNUAL TARGETS CONFIRMED


During the 1st Quarter:
CONTINUATION OF VERY STRONG GROWTH IN NEW MARKETS
GOOD START IN WESTERN EUROPE
TEMPORARY CONTRACTION IN NORTH AMERICA


The sales of the L'Oréal group, at March 31st 2008, amounted to 4.359 billion euros, an increase of
+2.1% (
based on reported figures).

Like-for-like (i.e. based on a comparable structure and identical exchange rates) the increase in the group’s sales was +5.1%.

The net impact of changes in consolidation, mainly as a result of the acquisitions in the United States of PureOlogy, Beauty Alliance, Maly’s West, Columbia Beauty Supply and Canan in Turkey amounted to +2.0%.

 

Currency fluctuations had a negative impact of -5.0% (at the exchange rate of March 31st 2008 the impact would be -6% for the whole of 2008).

Growth excluding the exchange rate impact was +7.1%.

 

Commenting on the figures, Mr Jean-Paul Agon, Chief Executive Officer of L'Oréal, said: In the first quarter, we achieved globally satisfactory growth: excluding North America, where the environment was exceptionally difficult, the group achieved growth of +7.5% in line with our projections.

The Rest of the World Zone continued to grow very strongly, particularly in Asia and Eastern Europe, and is fully playing its role as a powerful growth relay. In Western Europe, the start of the year is in line with our expectations in a market which remains solid.

In North America, after an exceptional 4th quarter 2007, we had been anticipating a lacklustre 1st quarter; in fact, it turned out to be more difficult because of lower footfall in department stores and larger than expected inventory reductions by our distributors. 

We are confident in our ability to accelerate our growth over the coming quarters thanks to favourable launch phasing, better prospects in North America, and continuing dynamism in the other Zones.

We are therefore able to confirm our annual like-for-like growth target range of +6% to +8%."


Sales growth by operational division and geographic zone

€ million Quarterly sales Quarterly salesGrowthGrowth
 1st quarter 2006 1st quarter 2007Like-for-likeReported
By operational division    
Professional Products542620+5.1%+14.5%
Consumer Products2,1472,147+4.7%0.0%
Luxury Products928930+5.8%+0.2%
Active Cosmetics393408+4.8%+3.8%
Cosmetics total4,0304,118+4.8%+2.2%
     
By geographic zone    
Western Europe 1,9201,939+2.3%+1.0%
North America963893-3.9%-7.2%
Rest of the world. of which:1,147 1,286+16.7%+12.1%
- Asia408464+21.9%+13.7%
-  Eastern Europe289359+25.9%+24.1%
- Latine America244243+3.3%-0.5%
- Other countries206220+9.4%+7.2%
Cosmetics total4,030 4,118+4.8%+2.2%
The Body Shop 169168+7.4%-0.5%
Dermatology(1)6973+13.2%+5.8%
Group total4,268 4,359+5.1%+2.1%
(1) Group share, i.e. 50%

Cosmetics Division
Sales trends by division and by geographic zone


* The Professional Products Division made a good start to the year at +5.1% like-for-like. The Division is continuing to win market share on all continents.

- L’Oréal Professionnel is continuing its conquest of new target groups. After targeting seniors with Color Suprême, L’Oréal Professionnel Homme is offering salons a complete product line for their substantial male customer base, particularly with Cover 5, a technological breakthrough which covers grey hair in just 5 minutes. L’Oréal Professionnel Homme is already present in some 20,000 European salons.

- Matrix is playing its part as a growth relay, and is expanding strongly in Western Europe and the BRIMC countries. The Biolage skincare and So Color Beauty hair colour lines are winning over new salons and building brand loyalty.

- Redken 5th Avenue is continuing to grow in the U.S. and in Europe in hair colour with Metallic Glam and in men's products with the Mint line by Redken for Men.

 

The division's luxury brands are expanding very strongly. 

- Kerastase is continuing to move upmarket, and is accelerating in all countries with the successful launch of Chroma Riche for hair with highlights. 

- Even further upmarket, Shu Uemura Art of Hair is gradually extending its penetration in the most exclusive European and North American salons.

 

* The Consumer Products Division achieved like-for-like growth of +4.7%.

- In skincare, the division is continuing to record very strong growth and significant market share gains. At L’Oréal Paris, Skin Genesis is confirming its major and lasting success, and the launch of Revitalift Deep-set Wrinkles has reinforced the world number 1 position of Revitalift in the anti-wrinkle segment. Initial results for UltraLift Pro-X by Garnier are promising.

- In make-up, Maybelline New York increased sales substantially with the launch of Mineral Power foundation and new formulas for Define-a-Lash mascara and Superstay lipstick. L’Oréal Paris is continuing to prove its dynamism with the launches of Glam Shine 6h and Infallible lipsticks and the solid performance of Bare Naturale.

- In seasonal products (sun protection and slimming) 1st quarter sales were affected by high distributor inventory levels because of the unfavourable season in 2007.

- In haircare, this year's major launches, for the brands Elsève by L’Oréal Paris and Fructis by Garnier, are scheduled for the 2nd quarter.

 

* At the end of March, the like-for-like growth of the Luxury Products Division amounted to +5.8%.

Growth was sustained in Western Europe, and gathered speed in the Rest of the World zone, with good scores in Asia, particularly in Japan and South Korea. The North America zone was adversely affected by market slowdowns and inventory adjustments.

-  In skincare, the Division's brands were particularly dynamic thanks to successful launches for Collagenist by Helena Rubinstein, Rides Repair by Biotherm, and Rénergie Refill from Lancôme in the anti-ageing segment. Kiehl’s and Shu Uemura posted their highest worldwide growth rates for 3 years, and are establishing core products such as Dermatologist Solutions from Kiehl’s, and Phyto-Black Lift from Shu Uemura.

 In make-up, the dynamism of 2007 is continuing, with the mascaras Virtuôse and Hypnôse Onyx from Lancôme, and Lash Queen Féline Blacks from Helena Rubinstein. The big success stories in lipstick were Color Fever Gloss by Lancôme and Rouge Unlimited Shine from Shu Uemura, and in foundations Teint Idôle Ultra and Photogenic Lumessence by Lancôme.

-    The Diesel Fuel for Life men's fragrance and the women's perfume Emporio Diamonds by Giorgio Armani again proved highly successful. Trésor by Lancôme, embodied by actress Kate Winslet, is continuing to generate double-digit growth.   

 

* Active Cosmetics achieved like-for-like growth of +4.8%, boosted by good performances in the “Rest of the World” zone, and Asia in particular, despite slower growth in Western Europe.

- Vichy is continuing to advance in the new markets, especially thanks to the success of the latest Aqualia Thermal and Vichy Homme launches.

- La Roche-Posay is maintaining 2-digit growth thanks to the success of Physiologique, its facial skincare and toiletry lines.

- Innéov is growing very strongly, confirming its European leadership in oral cosmetics sold in pharmacies.

- The roll-out of Sanoflore and SkinCeuticals is continuing in Europe.


Western Europe

With like-for-like growth of +2.3%, the start of the year in Western Europe was in line with the group's projections. They took account of the slow start made by sun protection and slimming products in mass-market outlets and pharmacies, because of the poor weather in summer 2007, which led to a build-up of inventories in distribution channels. In sell-through terms, trends in European markets remained generally favourable.

* The Professional Products Division made a good start to the year with the successful launch of L’Oréal Professionnel Homme, and the strong development of the U.S. brands Matrix and Redken which are winning over new salons.

Performances were good across all the division's brands in Germany, Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries.

* The Consumer Products Division is continuing to win market share in the skincare category, particularly with L’Oréal Paris which is confirming its number 1 position. Maybelline New York is recording strong growth in make-up.

Growth is being driven by Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. The impact of the poor summer weather on sales of sun protection products in 2007, and the start of 2008, was particularly strong in Great Britain.

* The Luxury Products Division is maintaining its sustained growth rate, thanks in particular to an excellent start to the year in France, in Great Britain, Belgium and the Scandinavian countries. Growth in Europe is bolstered by all the brands, and particularly by Giorgio Armani with the high-profile arrival of Emporio Diamonds, Diesel fragrances, and the development of the Division's new brands such as Kiehl’s and Shu Uemura.

The Active Cosmetics Division recorded contrasting sales growth scores in the 1st quarter, boosted by the rapid development of