L'Oreal losing share in Western Europe's mass cosmetics market following austerity measures in Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain; CEO is 'cautious' for 2011

LOS ANGELES , November 9, 2011 () – L’Oreal SA has lost one point of growth in Western Europe’s mass cosmetics market during the third quarter due to its austerity measures in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, Bloomberg reported Nov. 7.

CEO Jean-Paul Agon said he remains “cautious” for 2011 as he expects the fourth quarter to remain flat from the third.

Agon also said the company’s 2011 sales should grow faster than the global cosmetics market’s 4% rate as demand for luxury products is rising in Asia. Market growth is expected to remain in the same vein in 2012, according to the article.

L’Oreal saw a 3.4% hike in sales of its consumer products segment, the company’s largest revenue source, but it remained slower than the 5.2% growth seen in the first half of the year.

Revenue in Western Europe jumped 1.1% in Q3.

Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Andrew Wood said L’Oreal’s announcement of “these results as good is stretching matters.” Wood gave the company stock an underperform rating, Bloomberg reported.

L’Oreal is currently trailing behind competitor Estee Lauder Cos., which reported its businesses remained largely unaffected by the recent economy uncertainty.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, on Nov. 7, 2011.

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