L’Oréal climbs after a first quarter considered reassuring

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(Reuters) – The shares of French cosmetics giant L’Oréal climbed on the Paris Stock Exchange on Friday after its first quarter turnover exceeded market expectations.

The stock was up 4.4% at 09:05 GMT, far ahead of the CAC 40 which fell 0.76% at the same time. She is on track to have her best day in 15 months.

L’Oréal’s first-quarter sales rose 9.4% to 11.24 billion euros, a growth that exceeded analysts’ expectations of a 6.1% rise, according to a consensus cited by Stifel.

The performance of the group, which owns the Maybelline and Lancôme brands, should allay concerns about the slowdown in the two biggest beauty markets, the United States and China, analysts say.

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“We believe market trends suggest the worst is over (in Asia),” says JP Morgan.

L’Oréal said sales in North America and Europe rose more than 12% in the first quarter, as its FMCG range and dermatology products offset weakness in the luxury segment.

According to Stifel, the performance of Europe and consumer goods was the biggest positive surprise.

North Asia and luxury were not weaker than feared, Stifel added, despite weak retail sales of cosmetic products in China in the first quarter.

“A strong quarter despite concerns,” Barclays analysts said. While L’Oréal acknowledged a slowdown in the United States, it “pleasantly surprised on the upside” both in the United States and Europe, they added.

(Written by Federica Mileo, edited by Blandine Hénault)


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