L'Oreal is worth it as it beats forecasts in 2015

 
Emma Haslett
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Cheryl Cole stars in ads for L'Oreal's Elnett brand (Source: YouTube)

Cheryl Cole knows she's worth it - and so does L'Oreal, it turns out, after the cosmetics giant posted strong growth in the year to the end of December.

In a statement published today, the company, which makes everything from Elnett hairspray (Chezza's favourite) to Lancome face cream, said revenues rose to €6.5bn (£5.1bn) in the fourth quarter of last year - a 4.2 per cent rise on last year - against expectations of 3.6 per cent growth.

Meanwhile, sales for the full year rose 12 per cent to €25.2bn (£19.8bn), from €22.5bn the year before, while sales in its luxury cosmetics arm rose 6.1 per cent, to €7.2bn.

The only thorn in its side was The Body Shop, where sales fell 5.8 per cent during the quarter, which the company said was "disappointing" - but it added 2015 had been "a year of major changes".

Growth was strongest in Eastern Europe and Africa and the Middle East, were sales rose 10.8 per cent and 19.3 per cent respectively in the fourth quarter. In Western Europe, growth was a more muted 2.7 per cent.

"In a year marked by a worldwide economic slowdown and increased international volatility, L'Oréal achieved strong growth... supported by a positive monetary effect," said Jean-Paul Agon, the company's chairman and chief executive.

"In a volatile and uncertain economic environment, particularly in some emerging countries, the group can rely on its balanced footprint across beauty categories, distribution channels and geographic zones. We are entering 2016 with the ambition to outperform the cosmetics market and achieve another year of sales and profit growth."

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