L’Oreal revenue drops, hit by slow down in North America

Beauty giant L’Oreal posted a drop in revenue for the first three months of the year, hit by slower demand in North America, but pledged it would return to growth in the second quarter. ”The U.S. market was flat, I do not remember seeing a flat market in the U.S. for our consumer division,” CEO Jean-Paul Agon said, adding ”We expect to get back on a solid growth basis as early as the next quarter”

L’Oreal posted a 2.2 percent drop in first-quarter revenue to 5.64 billion euros ($7.79 billion). For the rest of 2014, the group expects North America to remain slow, counter-balanced by Southern Europe where it expects “renewed vitality.”

L’Oreal’s strongest growth came from its active cosmetics unit, which benefited from the relaunch of its Vichy cream brand, particularly in Western Europe, while La Roche-Posay made a “very good start to the year” with strong growth in Europe and Asia.

L’Oreal’s luxury products unit (Yves Saint Laurent, Lancome, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani) continued to enjoy solid growth, up 7.2 percent on a comparable basis but below the 8.4 percent rise recorded in the fourth quarter.

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, Spring Summer 2014