PARIS:Cosmetics group L’Oreal reported a 4.5% rise in net profit to 2.061 billion euros on 16 February, but said that profit excluding exceptional items had surged by 11.9 % to 1.833 billion euros .
The underlying profit figure met the group’s target of achieving double-digit profit growth by this measure in 2006, and marked the 22nd year in a row of such growth above 10 %.L’Oreal, the biggest cosmetics group in the world, said that profitability had increased in all divisions and in all regions of the world.
Company managing director Jean-Paul Agon said that emerging countries offered “a historic opportunity for strong and lasting growth”.Earnings per share, excluding exceptional, or non-recurrent, items rose 14.7 % to 2.98 euros, also in line with the company’s forecast.
But the recurrent profit total of 1.833 billion euros fell short of the figure of 1.877 billion euros expected by analysts and the price of shares in the group slipped by 0.67 % to 81.10 euros in an otherwise steady market.
Operating profit rose by 12.1 percent to 2.541 billion euros, and sales advanced by 8.7 % to 15.79 billion euros, or by 5.8 percent on a basis of unchanged exchange rates.
Agon said that “these overall results and the dynamics they represent give us confidence for 2007”.In particular, the acquisition of British group The Body Shop, for which the results havd been consolidated since 1July had made a positive contribution, the group said.