By Mauro Orru

L'Oreal posted higher sales for the first quarter, led by growth at its core consumer-products and dermatological-beauty divisions, particularly in Europe and North America.

The French cosmetics giant on Thursday reported sales of 11.24 billion euros ($12 billion) for the three months to the end of March, up 8.3% in reported terms and 9.4% on a like-for-like basis.

Sales in Europe climbed more than 12% in reported terms to EUR3.73 billion in what L'Oreal called a buoyant market, thanks to strong momentum for skincare, fragrances, and premium haircare products.

In North America, revenue increased almost 12% to EUR3.02 billion. The company said fragrances such as Born in Roma from Valentino and MYSLF from Yves Saint Laurent had fueled growth at its L'Oreal Luxe business, while the La Roche Posay and CeraVe skin care brands propelled sales at its dermatological-beauty division.

Sales in Latin America rose nearly 19%, though revenue in North Asia shrank 3.9%.

China has been a weak spot for L'Oreal for much of 2023, when the country's economy grew 5.2% compared with prepandemic rates of 6% or more. The country has been suffering from a prolonged downturn in the property sector as well as weak exports and consumer demand since it emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, its economy seems to have picked up pace, with 5.3% growth in the first quarter. However, L'Oreal said the beauty market remained sluggish in mainland China.

Still, Chief Executive Nicolas Hieronimus said he is optimistic on the outlook of the global beauty market despite economic and geopolitical tensions. He expects L'Oreal will keep outperforming the market and achieve another year of growth in sales and profit.

Write to Mauro Orru at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-18-24 1255ET