L’Oréal CEO bullish on market, upbeat on China

L’Oréal CEO Nicolas Hieronimus addresses attendees at the company’s Garden Party held at its headquarters in Clichy, outside Paris last night

Speaking at a garden party for the press yesterday evening, L’Oréal CEO Nicolas Hieronimus said the group continues to perform well, despite turbulence in the market.

“Beauty is a market that is incredibly resilient, especially now more than ever. Beauty grew 8% in 2021 and, when we look at the market at the end of May, we estimate that it is at plus 7%,” Hieronimus commented.

He added that after two years of Covid and intermittent lockdowns, consumers are looking to experiences and are spending again. He noted that today the fragrance market is seeing more than 20% growth, while lipstick is at between +20% and +30% (depending on the countries); both categories are outperforming the overall beauty market.

“When asked if we see an impact of inflation, among other factors, on sales, my response is no,” Hieronimus noted. “On the contrary, there is currently a feeling of ‘carpe diem’ among consumers.”

He added: “Today we can say that inflation is not impacting beauty consumption. There is no trading down and, in some cases, we actually see trading up.”

China positive

“The question that we are asked the most is about how China must be very difficult for us and, yes, it is—our teams in Shanghai were in lockdown for a month. However, e-commerce outside Shanghai worked and, I can tell you, our results in China remain very positive. We saw growth, despite a market that was very negative in April and negative at the end of May,” Hieronimus stated.

“The roll out of the famous 6.18 shopping festival during the month of June in China that is orchestrated by Alibaba, JD.com and other e-commerce sites, has started out very, very strongly, particularly by L’Oréal, with our brands that are adored by the Chinese […]. So obviously we have a China that has slowed, but that continues to drive our growth. ” he added.