BBC News  Nov 21  Comment 
How an Instagram beauty blogger with more than 75 thousand followers became the first man to star in a L’Oreal make-up ad.
Reuters  Oct 20  Comment 
L'Oreal, the world's biggest cosmetics company wants to see more beauty tech like sensory hair brushes that tell you how to care for your hair, and skin patches that let you know how much sun you are getting.
Channel News Asia  Oct 5  Comment 
L'Oreal said on Thursday it would appeal a 2.6 million euro (US$3 million) fine imposed by Greece's competition authority, which ruled that the French cosmetics company and several of its rivals were fixing prices.
Channel News Asia  Sep 28  Comment 
France's prime minister said on Thursday he would look very carefully at any attempted ownership change at L'Oreal especially if an international investor sought to buy the world's biggest cosmetics firm.
Wall Street Journal  Sep 26  Comment 
Nestlé set a new profit-margin target and said it would accelerate share buybacks amid pressure from activist investor Dan Loeb, but remained firm on retaining its stake in cosmetics giant L’Oréal.
guardian.co.uk  Sep 13  Comment 
Illamasqua hires Munroe Bergdorf, sacked by French firm after urging white people to be aware of unconscious racism A transgender model fired by L’Oreal for making comments about systemic racism on social media has been chosen as the face of a...
Channel News Asia  Sep 1  Comment 
French cosmectics giant L'Oreal sacked its first transgender model to appear on a British advertising campaign after she described all white people as racist on Facebook.

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L'Oreal is the world's largest cosmetics producer with revenues of €17,063 M and a world market share of 15.3% in 2007.[1] L'Oreal offers products in hair care, skincare, make-up, deodorants, and perfumes through its 27 brands. Hair care and skin care make up the largest percentage of L'Oreal's sales, 24% and 26%, respectively.[2]

L'Oreal generated 29% of its revenue and 60% of its growth from emerging markets in 2007. L'Oreal's emerging market revenue is up from 17% of sales in 1999. L'Oreal's international growth has been supplemented by its ability to deliver innovative new products to the market. L'Oreal spent €560M (3.5% of revenue) on research and development and registered 576 patents in 2007.[3]

Between 1999 and 2006, L'Oreal's organic growth dropped from over 10% to about 5%. As a result, L'Oreal increased its acquisitions to help drive growth. In July, 2006 L'Oreal acquired The Body Shop which now makes up about 5% of L'Oreal's revenues. L'Oreal also acquired Beauty Alliance, a major distributor of professional hair care products, and YSL Beaute, a luxury fashion company, in 2007 and early 2008, respectively. L'Oreal also expects to generate growth from the increasing adoption of the male cosmetics market, as well as stronger sales from older demographics. L'Oreal projects that by 2025 41.5% of all the people in Europe, the US, and Japan will be over 50 years old (34% were over 50 in 2005). This is important because half of all people between the age 55-59 used anti-age skincare, more than any other age group.

Business Outline

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L'Oreal operates the following business divisions: Consumer Products (49%), Professional Products (14%), Luxury Products (23%), Active Cosmetics (7%), The Body Shop (5%), and Dermatology (2%). Professional products commands the largest market share, compared to other divisions, in all of L'Oreal's geographic segments.


L'Oreal's cosmetics branch made up 93% of the company's revenue in 2007.[5] Cosmetics primarily include products in hair care, make up, colourants, skin care, and perfumes. L'Oreal has a 15.3% market share in the world cosmetics market and this market share has been growing since 1996. L'Oreal gets about half its sales from hair care (24%) and skin care (26%), and in the world market skin care and hair care products make up about 55% of cosmetic sales.

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Trends and Forces

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60% of L'Oreal's Revenue Growth Came from Emerging Markets in 2007

Each year 60 million new consumers achieve an income level that allows them to buy more sophisticated cosmetics products.[8] As emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and South America grow, income growth will spur consumption. This presents an opportunity for consumer product companies like L'Oreal, and L'Oreal is already reaping the benefits. In 2007, L'Oreal generated 29% of their total revenue and 60% of their growth from emerging markets. For the last two decades, cosmetics market share in North America and Japan has been falling and Western Europe has been essentially flat. On the other hand, market share for the rest of the world, made up mostly by emerging markets, has grown from 22% in 1997 to 33.5% in 2007.

Aging Populations Demand More Cosmetics

L'Oreal projects that by 2025 41.5% of all the people in Europe, the US, and Japan will be over 50 years old (34% were over 50 in 2005). This is a promising trend for L'Oreal because older age groups, comparatively, demand more cosmetics, especially anti-aging skin care and other age related products. In addition, cosmetic demand from all age groups, in particular those between 40 and 70, has been on a steady incline. The world cosmetics market has had an average annual growth of 4.6% between 1993 and 2007.[9] In 2005, half of all people between the age 55-59 used anti-age skincare, according L'Oreal.

However, while the percentage of older people in these populations is growing, the actual number of older people is not necessarily increasing. Native populations in France, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, as well as many other developed countries, are growing older, percentage wise, as a result of lower birthrates. Birthrates below replacement in these countries, as well as below historical levels, means that new generations are smaller than previous ones creating a proportionally older population.. While the US experiences a similarly low birthrate from Caucasians, aging baby boomers means that the older population is in fact larger than in the past.

Male Cosmetics on the Rise

Cosmetics for men makes up about 7-8% of the world cosmetics market. However, about 22% of L'Oreal's sales come from male cosmetics, primarily in the form of cologne and deodorant. Together male perfumes and deodorant made up about two thirds of L'Oreal's male cosmetic sales in 2007. The usage of male cosmetics has grown considerably over the last two decades. From 1990 to 2001, men's skincare usage increased from 4.5% to 21%. In addition, men skincare usage in Western Europe has increased about 28% between 2001 and 2005.


Cosmetics makes up a small portion of Procter & Gambles business, while Revlon only sells cosmetics. Delivering new and innovative products is key in any beauty or fashion industry, and cosmetics is no different. Of the three, L'Oreal spends the most on R&D as a percentage of sales - L'Oreal = 3.5%, Procter & Gamble = 2.7%, and Revlon = 1.7%. L'Oreal is more specialized than Procter & Gamble, and far outspends Revlon on R&D, and both facts help L'Oreal remain a leader in the cosmetics market.

Company Revenue (mm) Operating Income (mm) Operating Margin R&D Spending (mm) Major Brands/Products
Revlon (REV) [10] $1,400 $121 10.14% $24.4 Revlon, Almay, Charlie, Bozzano, Ultima II
Procter & Gamble[11] $76,476 $15,450 20.20% $2,075 Pantene, Crest, Tide, Downy, Bounty, Folgers, Gillette
L'Oreal[12] €17,063 €2,827 15.5% €560 Garnier Fructis, L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline
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  1. LRLCY 2007 Annual Report, Consolidated Financial Results, pg. 20
  2. LRLCY 2007 Annual Report, pg.21
  3. LRLCY 2007 Annual Report, Research & Development, pg. 55
  4. LRLCY 2007 Annual Report, pg.21
  5. LRLCY 2007 Annual Report, pg.20
  6. LRLCY 2007 Annual Report, pg.20
  7. LRLCY 2007 Annual Report, pg.21
  8. LRLCY 2007 Annual Report, Market Trends, pg. 31
  9. LRLCY 2007 Annual Report, pg.27
  10. REV 2007 10-K, Item 15, pg. F-5
  11. PG 2007 10-K, pg. 49
  12. LRLCY 2007 10-K, pg. 23
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