Sales: 20.34 billion euros, +5.1% like-for-like*Strong improvement in operating margin: +50 bps** at 16.2%Record gross margin: +40 bps at 71.2%Net earnings per share***: +7.8%Increase in dividend****: +11% at 2 eurosConfidence in another year of sales and profit growth.
Commenting on the annual results, Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L'Oréal, said:
"2011 was a solid year of development, which has made the group even stronger. In a cosmetics market whose global trend was favourable, L'Oréal achieved sustained sales growth and confirmed its position as the world leader in beauty.
All divisions are expanding. L'Oréal Luxury in particular posted a very good year, especially thanks to Lancôme, Giorgio Armani and Kiehl's.
Internationalisation is continuing across all divisions. The group is pursuing its conquest of the New Markets, with Asia and Latin America leading the way, and is making clear progress in North America. 2012 will be a symbolic year, as the New Markets are set to become the group's number one geographic zone.
These performances demonstrate the relevance of our strategic thrusts and provide further confirmation of the key role played by research, innovation and creativity in our industry.
2011 was also another year of solid construction for our operating profit. The strong growth in results reflects the virtuous dynamics set in motion: operational efficiency has advanced in all fields of activity, enabling us to prepare well for the future, and the profitability of the New Markets zone increased substantially.
The good quality of these results means that we are more confident than ever in the group's ability to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. We are well equipped to succeed in our strategy of universalising beauty and to achieve another year of sales and profit growth in 2012.
Through its proposal to pay a dividend of 2 euros, the Board of Directors is expressing its confidence in the group's outlook and its strong potential for development."
February 14, 2012
* +4.3% based on reported figures
** basis points
*** diluted net earnings per share, based on net profit excluding non-recurring items after non-controlling interests.
**** proposed at the Annual General Meeting of April 17, 2012.