In order to evaluate the broader situation of our industry in these hard-to-decipher times, it’s essential to monitor the performance not only of major hair & beauty companies, but of other sectors as well.

A recent, illuminating report on L’Oréal’s Q1 fiscal 2023 group sales confirms that LOréal has outperformed the market in all geographic zones. This has been achieved despite a fundamental market like China not having yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. As we reported on last week, L’Oréal is investing heavily in China by acquiring important brands such as Aesop with the precise aim of obtaining great sales results in China by 2024.

In Q1 fiscal 2023 LOréal totalled €10.38 Billion, a jump of 13.0% in like-for-like terms. Make-up was a standout category for the period but all divisions experienced growth.

The dermatological beauty sector grew by nearly 31% year-on-year (like-for-like) to €1.685 Billion, driven by rising sales in Europe and emerging markets.

The consumer products division grew by nearly 15% year-on-year, totalling €3.82 Billion, driven by strength in Europe, North America, India, Mexico, Brazil and Thailand.

Hair colour also showed significant growth for the company.

There was also remarkable increase for the professional products sector, which grew by 7.6% year-on-year, totalling €143.6 Million, driven by notable growth in mainland China, India and the United Kingdom. Other drivers included Kérastase’s Symbiose anti-dandruff range and Série Expert by L’Oréal Professionnel, with Metal Detox. Also contributing to growth were Shades EQ Gloss by Redken and Inoa by L’Oréal Professionnel.

The luxe division grew 6.5% year-on-year, totalling €3.73 Billion. Mainland China dragged on North Asia results, while all other regions grew, particularly North America’s makeup sector.

Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L’Oréal, commented: “In a beauty market that remains very dynamic, LOréal has maintained strong growth momentum boosted by valorised innovations in all divisions and the engagement of our teams around the world, LOréal has outperformed the market in all geographic zones and strengthened its leadership position. This performance, which has yet to benefit from Chinas reopening, demonstrates the strength of LOréals balanced multipolar model. I am thrilled to soon welcome the magnificent Aesop brand and its teams, which will reinforce LOréal luxe. Mindful of the current uncertainties, we remain optimistic about the outlook for the beauty market, ambitious for the future and confident in our ability to keep outperforming the market and achieve another year of growth in sales and profits in 2023.”

The ‘big boys’ are performing better than expected and are confident in the future. So it stands to reason that even the smallest companies in our industry have a chance to follow suit and benefit from a recovering global market.