L’Oréal growth shines a spotlight on ‘derma beauty’

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Business Finance Cosmetics L'oréal

Derma beauty has been L’Oréal Group’s star performer in Q1 2024 and according to NielsenIQ data, derma brand La Roche-Posay was the US market’s fastest-growing skin care brand in 2023…
Derma beauty has been L’Oréal Group’s star performer in Q1 2024 and according to NielsenIQ data, derma brand La Roche-Posay was the US market’s fastest-growing skin care brand in 2023…
Derma beauty brands and mass-market cosmetics are currently enjoying a boom for the L'Oreal Group, but sales are still sluggish in North Asia…

For the first quarter of 2024, the French multi-national reached sales of €11.24bn, up by 9.4% on a like-for-like basis compared to the same period the previous year, with growth seen in both volumes and values.

The business said that all divisions grew, but Dermatological Beauty saw the most noteworthy boost, with sales up by 21% in comparison to the previous year.

Regionally, Europe and Emerging Markets (mainly Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia) enjoyed the strongest results, while North Asia saw sales figures drop.

CEO Nicolas Hieronimus believed that 2024 was off to a good start for the business and noted that the beauty industry “has once again proven its relentless growth capacity.”

“Our multipolar approach to beauty – from luxury to mass, professional to dermatological, in all channels, all price points, and all geographies – allows us to seize all growth opportunities and offset temporary points of softness,” he stated.

Hieronimus also noted that strong growth in Europe and the emerging markets had “more than offset the gradual recovery in North Asia,” while the strong performances of dermatology-based and mass-market beauty brands had “compensated the short-term challenges in luxury.”

All eyes on derma beauty

L'Oreal’s Dermatological Beauty division reported sales growth of 21.9% on a like-for-like basis.

The business claimed that this sector was “advancing 1.6 times faster than its dynamic market” and that momentum was balanced between developed and emerging markets, as it pursued global expansion.

In terms of brands in this division, La Roche-Posay was still its top growth contributor, with CeraVe close behind.

It also highlighted its recent La Roche Posay MelaB3 launch, which was 18 years in the making. The product addresses localised pigmentation issues using its ‘breakthrough’, multi-patented Melasyl​ molecule.

“Strong consumer appetite” for premium hair care

Meanwhile, L’Oréal’s Professional Products Division grew by 10.7% on a like-for-like basis, with the best performances in North America, the UK, mainland China, Brazil, and the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC3).

The business noted that the professional hair care category was currently benefiting from a “strong consumer appetite for premium products.”

This division has also been quick to take up the latest beauty tech – with the implementation of Kérastase’s K-Scan in hair salons – an AI-powered hair and scalp scanning and diagnosis tool.

Mass-market Colour Cosmetics “significantly accelerated”

L’Oréal’s mass-market offering – Consumer Products Division – also had a good start for 2024. Sales were up by 11.1% on a like-for-like basis, with positive volume and value growth.

Globally, Europe and Emerging Markets saw the best performances for this division. Category-wise, L’Oréal said Colour Cosmetics grew significantly in this quarter; Skin Care “significantly accelerated”; and Hair Care was its fastest-growing category.

Meanwhile L’Oréal’s prestige division, L’Oréal Luxe saw slight growth – by 1.8% on a like-for-like basis – but this was weak in comparison to other divisions.

The business said it believed that this division had been “penalised by an unfavourable comparison base in Travel Retail and sluggish market growth” in the North Asia region.

Strong results in Europe and the Americas

Sales in Europe grew by +12.6% like-for-like, with the best performances in Germany-Austria-Switzerland, Spain-Portugal, and the UK-Ireland hubs.

The North America region grew by +12.3% like-for-like, while Latin America grew by 16.2% from both values and volumes.

Mexico and Brazil were the top-performing markets in LATAM, and Mexico, in particular, grew by 25% - making it the sixth-biggest growth contributor for the entire Group.

Sales drop in North Asia

Meanwhile in its North Asia region (Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan) sales had dropped by -1.1% on a like-for-like basis and the business noted that the Travel Retail sector “continued to weigh on growth” here.

However, L’Oréal also shared that it had “outperformed the market by 6.2%” in mainland China.  

Its SAPMENA-SSA (South Asia Pacific, Middle East, North Africa) grew by +16.4% like-for-like basis, on values and volumes.

In this region, the main growth contributors were the Australia-New Zealand and GCC3 markets, as well as in South-East Asia.

The business also highlighted that online sales had “remained particularly dynamic across the region” – especially in South-East Asia.

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