PARIS, France — L’Oreal SA, the world’s largest cosmetics maker, reported a 14 percent increase in first-quarter sales as a weaker euro helped compensate for “sluggish” growth in western Europe.
Revenue reached 6.44 billion euros ($6.92 billion), the Paris-based maker of Maybelline eye shadow said Monday in a statement after markets closed. Analysts predicted 6.35 billion euros, according to the median of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The strength of currencies such as the dollar boosted the value of revenue from abroad.
L’Oreal, which has made a dozen acquisitions since 2013, is benefiting from the euro’s slump after currencies weighed on growth in the past two years. Sales growth, which was led by the luxury and active-cosmetics divisions in the first quarter, will probably accelerate this year as the company introduces new products, according to brokerage Raymond James.
Europe, the source of about a third of revenue, “has had a difficult start to the year,” L’Oreal said, citing a slight decline in the mass market in the region. “In an economic context that is still volatile, we confirm that we are confident in our ability to outperform the market this year, once again, and to achieve growth in sales and profit.”
Excluding acquisitions, disposals and currency swings, sales climbed 4 percent in the quarter.
By Andrew Roberts; editors: Matthew Boyle, Paul Jarvis, Tom Lavell.