Growth compared with the same period in 1997 was 10.1% on published figures and 11.4% excluding exchange rate impact.
This growth excluding currency effects is slightly superior to the growth established on the 30th of June 1998. On the other hand, the exchange rate impact, which was positive by 0.4 % for the six first months, became negative by 1.3 % at the nine month period.
On a structural level, the group benefited a positive effect of 1.5% from the consolidation of new cosmetic, dermatological and pharmaceutical subsidiaries in Western Europe and in North America.
Sales growth by sector breaks down as follows: