The sales at September 30th 2008 amounted to 12.912 billion euros, an increase of +4.4% like-for like (+7.4% at constant exchange rates, +2.2% based on reported figures). L'Oréal continues to strengthen its worldwide position and grow very rapidly in the new markets. Confident in its development strategy, L'Oréal is maintaining strong advertising and promotional support for its brands despite the tougher economic environment.Commenting on the figures, Mr Jean-Paul Agon, Chief Executive Officer of L'Oréal, said: “We had anticipated that the growth at the end of June would continue in the 3rd quarter; however, since September, we have noted a clear slowdown in some markets in Western Europe and North America, and have been confronted with a contraction of purchasing by some distributors in view of the current economic crisis.With like-for-like 9-months sales growth of +4.4%, and +7.4% at constant exchange rates*, we are continuing to increase our worldwide market share; our 4th quarter will be bolstered by numerous initiatives developed by our brands, which are off to a good start.In view of this tougher environment which remains uncertain, we now consider it more prudent to forecast 2008 like-for-like sales growth close to that reached at 9 months- i.e. approximately +4%.Nevertheless, we have made the decision to maintain strong advertising and promotional support for our brands in the 4th quarter in order to prepare for 2009 in the best possible conditions. As a result, our target for 2008 is now to achieve net earnings per share (1) growth of approximately +7% to +8% at constant exchange rates*. This represents a further significant improvement compared with 2007, particularly allowing for the dilutive impact of the consolidation of Yves Saint Laurent.
Confident in our development strategy, we are looking ahead to 2009 with realism, but also with the determination to continue strengthening our worldwide position thanks to the quality of our innovations and the richness of our brand portfolio.”
* based on constant translation rates:
2008 data at 2008 rates / 2007 data at 2008 rates
(1) excluding non-recurrent items
October, 30 2008