French cosmetics maker L'Oreal is feeling the effects of the economic slowdown and tough trading conditions in South Korea and Taiwan, with turnover from luxury goods in South Korea down 2-3 per cent this year after achieving 8 per cent growth last year.
The company’s Asia-Pacific managing director Jochen Zaumseil told Reuters that South Korea and Taiwan are among Asia's most export-dependent countries, making them vulnerable to weakness in global demand; taking its toll on L’Oréal.
"Two markets that have been brutal are Korea ... and Taiwan," Zaumseil said. "We don't believe (the slowdown) is sustainable. We are expanding our territory into second and third-tier cities - we will fuel our growth through expansion."
China, the main driver of demand for luxury goods in recent years, has suffered a slowdown this year, though L'Oreal was still gaining market share, and its Asia-Pacific turnover grew 12.5 per cent overall in the first half of this year.