Sale beautifies L'Oreal profit

[PARIS] L'Oreal, the world's top cosmetics company, said Thursday its net profit soared by two-thirds last year to 4.91 billion euros (S$7.6 billion) thanks to the sale of a unit.

Without the sale of its stake in the Galderma dermatological treatment unit to Nestle that added 2.1 billion, L'Oreal's net profit would have come in with a 3.1 percent gain to 3.12 billion euros, the company said in a statement.

"Despite adverse currency effects, operating margin increased once again in 2014 highlighting the strength of our business model," chief executive Jean-Paul Agon said in a statement.

Operating profit came in at 3.89 billion euros on sales that totalled 22.53 billion euros, a gain of 1.8 per cent if Galderma is excluded from 2013 figures.

That resulted in an operating margin of 17.3 per cent, an increase from the previous year.

Adverse currency effects had a negative 2.3 per cent impact on sales.

Among emerging markets, the Asia-Pacific region saw a 4.1 per cent increase to 4.56 billion euros, but sales fell in both eastern Europe and Latin America.

Sales climbed by 3.1 per cent to 7.70 billion euros in Western Europe, but only edged up 0.6 per cent in North America.

Mr Agon said L'Oreal intends to outperform the cosmetics market in 2015.


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