Interview with Nicolas Hieronimus

Chief Executive Officer

2023 was another record-breaking year for L'Oréal.

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The key figure of the year

+11% – our like-for-like growth. Thanks to our teams’ creativity, entrepreneurship and passion, we delivered our best like-for-like growth in more than 20 years (excluding the 2021 post-Covid rebound). Despite the challenging environment, this outstanding result means that we broke the €40 bn sales threshold for the very first time.

2023 in three keywords

Dopamine, multipolar, innovation

Dopamine – The hormone of happiness, is what beauty is about and why the global beauty market was extremely dynamic in 2023, growing +8% despite economic and geopolitical headwinds. Consumers want to feel good about themselves and beauty allows them to do that.

Multipolar – We again confirmed the power of our multipolar model. Our strategy to rebalance our regional footprint was one of the keys to our success.

Innovation – With innovation as part of our DNA, we continued to invest in Research and Beauty Tech to invent the future of beauty. More personalised, more inclusive and more sustainable beauty – increasingly augmented by green sciences and tech.

The beauty trend of the year?

In 2023, we’ve seen a number of trends that play to our strengths, for example:

The ‘medicalisation’ of beauty – with one-third of the total skincare market in Europe now coming from dermocosmetics brands. We are exceptionally well-positioned for this trend, owning three of the top-four most prescribed brands by dermatologists in the world.

The desire for increased ‘personalisation’, with custom-made products, on-line services, smart devices and diagnostic tools. Our investment in Beauty Tech is helping us in our goal of creating “beauty for each”.

What are you most proud of?

From a business point of view, the Group’s acquisition of Aēsop, an iconic luxury brand and the perfect addition to our portfolio of 37 complementary international brands. We look forward to building on the brand’s unique DNA and values in the years to come.

2023 also saw the rebirth of one of the Group’s most historic landmarks, with the opening of ‘Le Visionnaire – Espace François Dalle’ in Paris, France. The Group’s former headquarters and birthplace of our Professional Products Division has been transformed into a creative, collaboration space, designed to enable our teams to come together and write the next chapter in the great L’Oréal adventure.

What progress have you made in Beauty Tech?

Beauty Tech is helping us to invent the future of beauty, and further strengthen our leadership by enabling us to better understand our consumers and develop ever-more impactful and sustainable products and services.

We now invest over €1Bn in IT & Tech annually. Beauty Tech is allowing us to augment the consumer experience and give consumers the most accurate and personalised recommendations across all our brands – and in 2023 we had 100 million uses of our digital services.

It is also transforming our ways of working. We can now leverage data and artificial intelligence to push the boundaries of creativity, improve the efficiency of our advertising and boost our researchers’ capability to innovate.

How are you advancing on L’Oréal for the Future objectives?

In 2023, we created the €15M L’Oréal Climate Emergency Fund, to help vulnerable communities prepare for and recover from climate disasters. L’Oréal Professionnel Water Saver, developed in conjunction with startup Gjosa. This patented technology has already saved over 200 million litres of water.

And our efforts continue to be recognised by external experts. We are the only company in the world to have been awarded a ‘Triple-A’ rating by CDP for eight years in a row and we were again ranked in the top 1% of best companies in terms of environmental and social performance by EcoVadis.

How is L’Oréal prepared for the future?

For many reasons, I believe that L’Oréal is uniquely positioned to keep outperforming the beauty market in the years to come.

Firstly, at L’Oréal we only do beauty, but all of beauty – with an unparalleled portfolio of brands across all categories, all price points and all distribution channels.

Secondly, our multipolar model will allow us to adapt to market realities and seize opportunities wherever they arise – to fuel our current and future growth engines.

Next, our unrivalled investment in innovation and Beauty Tech will allow us to create value by bringing game-changing products and services to consumers around the world.

And of course, at L’Oréal, our biggest asset will always be our people – through their dedication, agility and creativity, we will continue to create the beauty that moves the world.