Nairobi, 6 December 2011 – At an inauguration ceremony held today, L’Oréal opened its new Kenyan subsidiary, which will be the hub for expanding the Group’s activities in East Africa, a region which also includes Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. The Group’s subsidiary in Nigeria opened in September. These are dynamic markets with a large number of potential new consumers.
By opening these two new subsidiaries in Africa, the L’Oréal Group is reaffirming its confidence in the region’s growth potential. Through its mission to make beauty universal, the Group is enabling access to quality products that meet all beauty needs.
L’Oréal has been operating in South Africa since 1963, and its presence in the Africa, Middle East zone now comprises nine subsidiaries, a hair and skin care products plant in Midrand, and a Research and Innovation testing centre in Johannesburg.
Beauty in Africa
Africa has a great tradition of beauty practices: most women spend a lot of time on beauty, paying particular attention to their hair. The three major markets are hair care, particularly straightening and relaxing products – nearly half of women say they use these products once a month – in addition to body care and deodorants. In terms of other personal care products, African women favour moisturisers for the body and concealers for their complexion.
The Group’s broad portfolio of brands puts it in a position to meet all these aspirations. In particular, L’Oréal can draw on a long history of expertise in ethnic hair and African skin thanks to its specialist research centre in Chicago. Softsheen-Carson, the world’s number one brand for people of African origin, and Mizani, distributed in hair salons, are the Group’s flagship brands for the conquest of new consumers in the region.
Garnier and L’Oréal Paris also have a presence in the zone, in South Africa, Morocco and Egypt.
L’Oréal has also long been active in the region through its philanthropy programmes, in particular “Hairdressers against AIDS”, which began in South Africa, and “For Women in Science”, in partnership with UNESCO. On the day of the inauguration ceremony, Patricia Ithau, Managing Director of L’Oréal in Kenya, welcomed the grant which the L’Oréal Foundation will award to a young female Kenyan scientist in 2012.
The energy and growth potential of the Africa, Middle East zone makes it a source of talent and inspiration for the Group as it strives to make beauty universal. Thanks to its multicultural teams and products that meet consumers’ specific needs, the Group is well placed to conquer a billion new consumers in the next ten to fifteen years.