By Giulia Petroni

 

L'Oreal SA said Thursday that sales in the first quarter fell due to the coronavirus hit across all geographic areas.

The French cosmetics and consumer-products company said sales in the period were 7.22 billion euros ($7.89 billion), down from EUR7.55 billion in the previous year. On a like-for-like basis, sales decreased 4.8%, the company said.

Analysts had forecast sales of EUR7.63 billion for the period, according to a consensus estimate provided by FactSet.

L'Oreal's professional-products division reported a 10.5% sales decline like-for-like due to the closure of hair salons in many geographic areas, particularly in Europe and the U.S.

The consumer-products business registered a fall of 3.6% on a like-for-like basis, while the luxe division reported a sales decline of 9.3% like-for-like due to the closure of major markets worldwide.

The company said active cosmetics has instead performed well, with sales up 13.2% like-for-like, mainly thanks to products sold through pharmacies and drugstores.

Moreover, the coronavirus crisis has prompted an acceleration of the digital transformation, with e-commerce growing at 52.6% and currently representing about 20% of sales, the company said.

L'Oreal said it expects lockdown measures to continue to affect its business in the second quarter of the year but added that consumers' appetite for beauty products is still intact.

 

Write to Giulia Petroni at giulia.petroni@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 16, 2020 12:47 ET (16:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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