L’Oréal sales down 1% in first quarter 2018

French group L’Oréal saw a 1% decline in first-quarter sales to €6.78bn, hit by unfavorable currency effects.

On a like-for-like basis, sales rose 6.8%. The group said that like-for-like sales growth was driven by the Luxe divison, Active Cosmetics and new markets, particularly Asia Pacific.

Sales at L’Oréal Luxe rose 4.4% (+14% like-for-like) to €2.25bn  thanks its four key global brands: Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani and Kiehl’s, which all posted growth of more than 10%. Growth in the division was also driven by Asia, especially China and Hong Kong, and by travel retail.

The Active Cosmetics divison saw sales rise 9.1% (+10.2% like-for-like) to €658.4m.

Meanwhile, L’Oréal said the Consumer division began the year with moderate growth that is sharply contrasted between different regions, with sales down 4.9% (+2.6% like-for-like) to €3.07bn. China continues to report a strong performance for the division, while the US is seeing an improvement in sell-out and France remains difficult.

L’Oréal said the highlight of the quarter was new markets. Sales in new markets were up 4.4% (+14.9% like-for-like) to €2.92bn. Asia Pacific saw a 10% increase in sales (+21.1% like-for-like) to €1.84bn.

E-commerce sales in the quarter rose 33.8% and now account for 8.8% of sales.