The U.S. market supports L’Oreal’s fourth-quarter sales, but China weighs on it

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L’Oreal SA, one of the biggest brands in France & the leading producer of high-end cosmetics, fragrances, hair care, and skin care products worldwide has revealed it’s quarterly report.

In the fourth quarter, L’Oreal reported sales growth of 8.1%, somewhat slower than in the previous three months. Strong demand in the United States and Europe helped to offset the impact of disruptions caused by the coronavirus in China.


According to Refinitiv statistics, the cosmetics company reported sales of 10.3 billion euros ($11.1 billion) for the final three months of 2022, in line with expert predictions. Compared to the third quarter’s 9.1% sales growth, the fourth quarter’s 8.1% growth rate was lower.

Despite the company reporting a “drastic slowdown” in China in the second half of the year, like-for-like revenue growth of 8.1% in Europe and 9.4% in the United States helped to raise overall sales.

According to L’Oreal Chief Executive Nicolas Hieronimus, “Overall, the market in China was extremely difficult with lockdowns — sometimes even e-commerce didn’t function because deliverers could not approach residences.”

As Covid-19 cases increased, business in the nation, one of the fastest-growing markets for cosmetics, was “extremely terrible” in December. According to him, January “started in the same vein,” though things began to improve in early February once restrictions were relaxed.

The cosmetics company, which has increased its market share in the high-segment to more than 30% thanks to the success of its Lancome, YSL, and Kiehl’s labels, will probably have “good Chinese business” starting in the second quarter, according to the executive, who predicted the first quarter will be “a bit soft still.”

In contrast, according to Hieronimus, January’s U.S. results were “extremely good.” “In general, the (U.S.) market is active and will remain so.”


Disruptions in China have had an impact on the business of luxury and cosmetics firms like Richemont, LVMH, and Burberry, leading Estee Lauder Cos Inc to foresee a worse decline in full-year earnings than it had first anticipated.

L’Oreal increased pricing toward the end of the second half and concentrated on introducing new, more expensive goods, partially offsetting increased input costs.

The skincare sector, which sells brands like CeraVe and La Roche-Posay, experienced the fastest increase during the quarter, increasing by 19.4%, while the luxury division experienced growth of 5.5%.

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