Sales: $29.6 billion
Key Personnel: Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and chief executive officer; Nicholas Hieronimus, president, selective; Brigitte Liberman, president, active cosmetics; Marc Menesguen, president, consumer products; An Verhulst-Santos, president, professional products; Laurent Attal, executive vice president, research and development; Jean-Philippe Blanpain, executive vice president, operations; Christian Mulliez, executive vice president, administration and finance; Alexis Perakis-Valat, executive vice president, Asia Pacific; Alexandre Popoff, executive vice president, Eastern Europe; Frédéric Rozé, executive vice president, Americas; Geoff Skingsley, executive vice president, Africa and Middle East; Jochen Zaumseil, executive vice president, Western Europe; Jérôme Tixier, executive vice president, human resources and advisor to the chairman; Sara Ravella, executive vice president, communication, sustainability and public affairs.
Major Products: Hair care, skin care, sun care, color cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances sold under many brand names in different channels. Consumer—Garnier, L’Oréal Paris, Le Club des Créateurs, Maybelline, SoftSheen-Carson. Professional—L’Oréal Professional, Kerastase, Redken, Matrix, Mizano, Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Keraskin Esthetics. Luxury—Lancôme, Biotherm, Helena Rubenstein, Kiehl’s, Shu Uemura, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Cacharel, Viktor & Rolf, Diesel, YSL Beauté. Active Cosmetics—Vichy, LaRoche-Posay, Innerve, SkinCeuticals, Sanoflore. Personal care—The Body Shop.
New Products: Lancôme—Advanced Génifique, Teint Visionnaire, La Vie est Belle; Cacharel—Amor Amor; Kerastase—Inventes Initialiste; Sanoflore—Anti Imperfections Ritual, Rouge Pure Couture; Olia by Garnier, L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare, Idéalia by Vichy; and Interconsumer Products, Emiliani Enterprises and Urban Decay (acquisitions).
Comments: The world’s largest pure cosmetics company held onto that title as sales rose more than 10% last year. L’Oréal outpaced the gains of the global cosmetics market, which rose 4.6% to nearly $238 billion, according to company estimates (see box next paget). Long the leader in Europe, L’Oréal’s sales in new markets rose 9.2%. That gain was enough to make it the group’s No. 1 sales zone in 2012, representing nearly 40% of cosmetics sales. Taking a closer look at developing markets, Asia-Pacific accounted for 20.6% of sales, followed by Latin America (8.8%), Eastern Europe (6.8%) and Africa, Middle East (3.3%). The remaining regions were Western Europe (35.6% of sales) and North America (25.0%).
By product category, skin care accounted for 33.8% of sales, followed by hair care (24.3%), makeup (16.4%), perfumes (12.9%), toiletries/deodorants (11.2%) and oral cosmetics (1.4%).
By division, sales of professional products rose 6.7% to nearly $4 billion as sales of hair oils and long-lasting hair colorants like INOA2, Chromatics and ColorInsider provided a lift. Consumer product sales rose 8.9% to $14.1 billion, as consumers tried hair care products such as Elvive by L’Oréal Paris and Olia by Garnier; as well as skin care products such as Revitalift Laser by L’Oréal Paris and Garnier’s BB Cream. L’Oréal Luxe sales surged 16% to more than $7.2 billion, thanks to strong sales of skin care products like Génifique Yeux Light and fragrances such as La Vie est Belle. Active Cosmetics’ sales rose 7.5% to more than $2 billion as the division expanded well beyond Western Europe, with strong showings in both North America and Latin America. The Body Shop recorded sales of $1.1 billion, a sales gain of more than 11% and Dermatology sales were up almost 13% to more than $1 billion.
Last year, L’Oréal’s R&D budget rose nearly 10% to $791 million and the company earned 611 patents. In 2012, L’Oréal inaugurated its global hair research center in Saint-Ouen, France. The company operated 22 cosmetics and dermatological research centers, 17 evaluation centers and 42 production sites by the end of the year. Some of the notable products that made their way from the lab bench to the department store shelf during the past year included Initialiste, billed as the first beauty serum with plant stem cells, and a new generation, long-lasting hair colorant ODS2 (oil delivery system).
Like so many other multinational FMCG companies, L’Oréal takes pride in its environmental and social advances. For instance, L’Oréal has reduced its CO2 emissions by 38.8% since 2005, even though the group’s growth has risen substantially during this period. On the social front, the L’Oréal Foundation commits itself to causes based on science and beauty. For example, its Women in Science program has recognized and rewarded outstanding achievements by leading researchers around the world for more than a decade.
For the first quarter of 2013, sales rose 5.3% to more than $7.1 billion, driven by a 11.8% in Africa and Middle East and an 8.2% gain in Eastern Europe. By division, L’Oréal Luxe led the way as sales increased 8.1%. In contrast, professional product sales fell less than 1%.