L'Oréal returns to pre-pandemic growth pace


Cosmetics giant L'Oréal managed to increase its market share in all divisions and all regions in the first half of 2021. The company has therefore expressed great confidence about the future.


Record quarter

L'Oréal recorded 15.2 billion euros of sales in the first six months of the year, up 16.2 % compared to the same period the year before. Currency effects had a negative impact: at constant exchange rates, sales even climbed 21.8 % higher. The second quarter was particularly outstanding, with a 33.5 % growth (like-for-like) compared to last year. This is also 8.4 % higher than in 2019.


L'Oréal gained market share in all segments and all geographical areas. "This remarkable performance reflects the relevance and healthy balance of our multi-faceted model in terms of geographical footprint, brands and categories", CEO Nicolas Hieronimus said in a press release.


Three trends

The steepest growth came from professional products (+ 32.6 %), aided by a market that is gradually recovering from the Covid-19 crisis. L'Oréal said it benefited from three underlying trends in the sector: the digitisation of salons, the rise of freelance stylists and the explosion of e-commerce. Haircare remains the number one growth category, with Kérastase as the most dominant brand.


The consumer products division ended the first half of the year with a reported growth of 1.9 %, mainly thanks to a strong second quarter. Also in this segment, L'Oréal outperformed the market. E-commerce now accounts for more than a fifth of the division's turnover.


Profit rises as well

Operating profit rose by more than a quarter to 2.99 billion euro. The net profit totalled 2.36 billion euros.


Hieronimus is very optimistic about the remainder of the year. "We are more confident than ever in our ability to outperform the market and achieve a year of growth in both sales and earnings."