Sales Growth In 1St Half 2003: +7.1% Like-For-Like Careers

Clichy, Wednesday 9th July 2003 8pm

Sales growth in 1st half 2003:

+7.1% like-for-like

The consolidated sales of L'ORÉAL at 30th June 2003 amounted to € 7.14 billion.

Sales growth compared with 30th June 2002 was +7.1% like-for-like, i.e. based on an identical scope of consolidation and exchange rates, and -3.2% based on consolidated figures.

Currency fluctuations had a negative impact of 10.5% up to end-June 2003. Up to end-March 2003 they had a negative impact of 11.7%.

The net impact of changes in the scope of consolidation was +0.2% up to the end of June.

The increase in the sales of the group's two main branches were as follows: +7.1% like-for-like and –3% based on consolidated figures for Cosmetics, and +7% like-for-like and 9.8% based on consolidated figures for Dermatology.

In the Cosmetics branch, like-for-like growth trends are indicated below:

Like-for-like growth in cosmetics sales

  1st half 2002 like-for-like growth (%). 1st half 2003
€ millions Like-for-like growth (%)

By division
Professional Products +9.3% 979 +8.8%
Consumer Products +9.1% 3,951 +9.3%
Luxury Products +5.5% 1,575 +0.2%
Active Cosmetics +12.0% 429 +10.9%

By zone
Western Europe +6.4% 3,834 +5.3%
North America +4.0% 1,873 +6.1%
Rest of the World +22.8% 1,284 +14.6%
Cosmetics Total +8.4% 6,991 +7.1%

In spite of the lukewarm economic conditions in many developed countries, the very sharp decline in air travel, and the SARS epidemic, L'OREAL managed to achieve rapid like-for-like sales growth in the first half, in line with the momentum in the first half of 2002, except for Luxury Products where the impact of the economic environment was felt more strongly.

The group’s overall performance reflects new and substantial gains in market shares.

Commenting on the figures, Mr Lindsay OWEN-JONES, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L’ORÉAL, said: "Thanks to these extremely encouraging figures, obtained in the most difficult conditions, L’OREAL should be able to achieve its traditional objective of like-for-like sales growth of between 7% and 9% per annum.

The impact of currency fluctuations, which was particularly strong in the first six months, is expected to gradually reduce over the coming months.

In view of these factors, the group is maintaining its target for the year of double-digit growth in net profit before exceptionals”.

Contact at L'ORÉAL:
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L'OREAL – 41 rue Martre – 92117 CLICHY–France.