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L'Oreal shares gain after company posts better-than-expected sales figures

Shares of cosmetics maker L'Oreal SA rose more than 3 percent Wednesday after the company posted a better-than-expected rise in first-quarter revenue.

The world's largest cosmetic company had said after the market closed Tuesday that revenue rose to EUR4.27 billion (US$5.79 billion), from EUR3.94 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Stripping out exchange rate fluctuations and exceptional items, L'Oreal's sales rose 7.9 percent during the quarter. That was above the 6.3 percent rise to EUR4.2 billion (US$5.69 billion) that analysts had forecast.

The group's organic revenue growth rate in cosmetics was the strongest quarterly advance in three years and reflected heavy advertising and promotion spending in emerging markets, analysts said.

L'Oreal shares rose 3.4 percent to EUR89.20 (US$120.85) in Paris trading.

Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon said the group's expansion was progressing as expected, with growth in western Europe remaining solid, North America returning to growth, and new markets making a good start to the year.

Like many French companies, L'Oreal reports revenues and profits separately.

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