Source AP ©

L'Oreal's fast growth in Eastern Europe increases its profit

Third-quarter sales of French cosmetics maker L'Oreal went up 7 percent, with the fastest growth coming from Eastern Europe.

The maker of Maybelline mascara and Vichy skin cream also confirmed its full-year objectives.

Sales in the third quarter came to 4.13 billion EUR(US$5.88 billion), up from 3.86 billion EUR a year earlier, L'Oreal said. Revenue for the first nine months rose 8.6 percent to 12.64 billion EUR(US$17.99 billion).

"From a geographic viewpoint, we are maintaining solid growth in Western Europe," said Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon. "As we had expected, the improvement in North America is gradual. And the very strong dynamism of the countries in the rest of the world is continuing, particularly in Eastern Europe."

Sales in Eastern Europe soared 29.9 percent on a like-for like basis in the third quarter, the company said, while they rose 4 percent in Western Europe and 4.3 percent in North America.

Over the full year, L'Oreal is targeting a 7 percent to 8 percent rise in annual like-for-like sales.

L'Oreal shares closed down 1.1 percent Wednesday at 91.44 EUR(US$129.68), giving the company a market capitalization of around 57.13 billion EUR(US$81.3 billion). The stock is up 20 percent since the start of the year partly due to strong earnings growth in the first half of the year.

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