Commenting on the figures, Mr Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal, said:
“Organic growth in the first half of 2011 has confirmed the good dynamics of the group, which is further strengthening its worldwide positions, particularly in North America, in Latin America and in Asia Pacific.
The first-half results are up, solid and of good quality. Gross profit is improving, despite the higher cost of raw materials. Operating margin is at a high level, and net profit is growing strongly. At the same time we are continuing to pave the way for the future with our ongoing policy of sustained investments in R&D and advertising & promotion business drivers. Finally, the group’s debt is particularly low.
These performances reflect the quality and solidity of the L’Oréal business model, based on powerful innovation, the vitality of our brand portfolio and a vast potential for internationalisation. In an uncertain economic environment, these fundamentals make us more confident than ever in the group’s ability to build sustainable and profitable growth.
For 2011, we confirm our ambition to outperform the market and improve the group’s profitability.”
Based on reported figures, the group’s sales, at June 30th, 2011, amounted to 10.15 billion euros, an increase of +5.0%. Like-for-like, i.e. based on a comparable structure and identical exchange rates, the sales growth of the L’Oréal group was +5.2%.The net impact of changes in consolidation was +0.7%.
Currency fluctuations had a negative impact of -0.9%.Growth at constant exchange rates was +5.9%.
If the exchange rates at the end of July, i.e. €1 = $1.438, are extrapolated up to December 31st, the impact of currency fluctuations on sales would be approximately -1.8% for the whole of 2011.
Gross profit, at €7,260m, increased by 5.4%, and came out at 71.5% of sales, compared with 71.3% in the first half of 2010. Despite the unfavorable impact of higher raw materials prices, the improved efficiency and productivity of the factories, good stock management and finally the positive conversion effect, resulting from the strengthening of the euro, have contributed to this further improvement.
Research and development expenses have increased by 12.2%. This increase reflects the group’s determination to step up its investments in Research and Innovation and, to a lesser extent, the integration of Q-Med.
Advertising and promotion expenses came out at 30.9% of sales, amounting to €3,135m, in line with the level for the full-year 2010. Selling, general and administrative expenses amounted to €2,076m, representing 20.5% of sales, a level below that recorded in the full-year 2010.
Operating profit, at 16.8% of sales, amounted to €1,702m. This compares with the record level achieved in the first half of 2010 of 17.3%. The difference compared with the first half of 2010, that is 50 basis points, is the result of increased investments in R&D and advertising & promotion business drivers.
The Professional Products Division is operating in a difficult market this year, and its profitability has edged down from 21.2% to 19.8%.
The profitability of the Consumer Products Division at 20.1% is slightly down on the first half of 2010, but is considerably higher than the full-year 2010 figure of 18.5%.
The profitability of the Luxury Products Division, at 18.9%, has grown strongly.
The Active Cosmetics Division has again recorded very high profitability at 26.3%.
The increase in non-allocated costs, at 2.8%, is mainly the result of the rise in Research expenses. The profitability of The Body Shop, which is mainly achieved in the second half of each year, came out at 2.8%.
The decline in profitability of Dermatology is the result of two factors: firstly, competition from generics for Differin 0.1% gel and cream and for Loceryl and, secondly, negative exchange rate effects.
Net earnings per share: €2.52
Consolidated profit and loss accounts, from operating profit to net profit excluding non-recurring items.
Overall finance costs, at €9m, have fallen sharply compared with the first half of 2010. This large reduction is the result of the significant decline in net debt. The dividend received from Sanofi for 2010 amounted to €296m, an increase of +4.2%. Profit before tax excluding non-recurring items amounted to €1,989m, an increase of +2.8%. Income tax amounted to €481m, less than in the first half of 2010.
Net profit excluding non-recurring items after non-controlling interests amounted to €1,506m, up by +6.7%. EPS amounted to €2.52, up by +5.4% compared with the first half of 2010.
After allowing for non-recurring items, net profit after non-controlling interests amounted to €1,467m, an increase of +11.6%.
Stable operating cash flow and a robust balance sheet
Gross cash flow amounted to €1,795m, which is stable compared with the first half of 2010. The change in working capital has increased by €701m. The greater increase compared with the first half of 2010 stems mainly from the trade accounts payable and tax items.
Total cash flows from operating activities (see cash flow statement in Appendix VI) amounted to €1,094m. Investments amounted to €400m that is approximately 4% of sales. At June 30th, 2011, net financial debt totaled €526m. Gearing amounted to 3.3% of shareholders’ equity. The balance sheet structure, which was already robust, was further reinforced with shareholders’ equity representing 64% of total assets.