STRONG SALES GROWTH: +12.1% BASED ON REPORTED FIGURES
FURTHER INCREASE IN OPERATING MARGIN
STRONG GROWTH IN EARNINGS PER SHARE*
- Sales: 25.26 billion euros
+12.1% based on reported figures
+4.9% at constant exchange rates
- Operating profit: 4.388 billion euros, representing 17.4% of sales
- Earnings per share*: 6.18 euros, an increase of 15.7%
- Dividend**: +14.8% at 3.10 euros
The Board of Directors of L'Oréal met on February 11, 2016 under the chairmanship of Jean-Paul Agon and in the presence of the Statutory Auditors. The Board closed the consolidated financial statements and the financial statements for 2015.
Commenting on the annual results, Mr Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L'Oréal, said:
"In a year marked by a worldwide economic slowdown and increased international volatility, L'Oréal achieved strong growth in 2015, supported by a positive monetary effect, and outperformed the market in three of its four Divisions.
The Active Cosmetics Division has once again demonstrated its great momentum all over the world, and is strengthening its leadership in a dynamic dermocosmetics market. L'Oréal Luxe delivered another year of robust growth, driven by the strength of its brand portfolio and its cutting-edge innovations. The Professional Products Division is reaping the benefits of its initiatives to stimulate the professional beauty market, and continues to improve steadily. Finally, the Consumer Products Division did not outperform its market, but improved in the second half, thanks especially to the powerful acceleration in the make-up category.
Across the geographic zones, L'Oréal has further accentuated its leadership in Europe, and significantly strengthened its performance in North America through the course of the year. Trends in the New Markets were more contrasted, in a context that was challenging in some countries, such as Brazil and Russia.
E-commerce sales*** reached 1.3 billion euros, reflecting very rapid growth, and accounted for more than 5% of Group sales.
The growth in sales, earnings per share* and dividend, supported by the positive currency effect, once again illustrates the quality and robustness of the L'Oréal business model.
In a volatile and uncertain economic environment, particularly in some emerging countries, the Group can rely on its balanced footprint across beauty categories, distribution channels and geographic zones. We are entering 2016 with the ambition to outperform the cosmetics market and achieve another year of sales and profit growth."
* Diluted earnings per share, based on net profit from continuing operations, excluding non-recurring items, attributable to owners of the company.
** Proposed at the Annual General Meeting of April 20, 2016.
*** Sales achieved on our brands' own websites + estimated sales achieved by our brands corresponding to sales through our retailers' websites (non-audited data); like-for-like growth.
The Board will also propose to the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, the renewal of the tenure as Directors of Mr Jean-Pierre Meyers, Mr Jean-Victor Meyers and Mr Bernard Kasriel.
The tenure of Mrs Christiane Kuehne will expire at the end of the Annual General Meeting on April 20, 2016. The Board of Directors wishes to warmly thank Mrs Christiane Kuehne for the quality of her contribution to discussions during her four-year tenure. The Board of Directors will put to the vote of the AGM the appointment as Director of Mrs Béatrice Guillaume-Grabisch, Managing Director of Nestlé Deutschland.
Mr Louis Schweitzer has tendered his resignation from the Board of Directors, in accordance with the Internal Rules of the Board, as the 2016 Annual General Meeting is the one following his 73rd birthday. This decision will be effective at the end of this Annual General Meeting. The Board wishes to express its deep gratitude to Mr Schweitzer for his commitment and his particularly important contribution as Chairman of the Audit Committee and as a member of the Strategy and Sustainable Development Committee.
The Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting on April 20, 2016 the appointment as Director of Mrs Eileen Naughton, who currently holds the position of Vice-President and Managing Director, UK and Ireland, at Google. This would bring the percentage of women on the Board to 46.6%.
As the appointments and renewals of tenure presented have an impact on the composition of the Committees, this is set out in detail in the table below, subject to approval of the resolutions concerning the tenure renewal and appointment of Directors at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on April 20, 2016.
Projected composition of Board Committees at the end of the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on April 20, 2016
* Subject to approval of the resolutions concerning the tenure renewal and appointment of Directors at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on April 20, 2016.
** The L'Oréal Registration Document filed with the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) on March 17, 2015 includes, on pages 274 and 275, the other pieces of information that must appear in the share buyback programme description pursuant to Article 241-2 of the General Regulation of the AMF.
A - 2015 SALES
Like-for-like, i.e. based on a comparable structure and constant exchange rates, the sales trend of the L'Oréal Group was +3.9%.
The net impact of changes in consolidation amounted to +1.0%.
Currency fluctuations had a positive impact of +7.2%.
Growth at constant exchange rates was +4.9%.
Based on reported figures, the Group's sales, at December 31, 2015, amounted to 25.26 billion euros, an increase of +12.1%.
SALES BY OPERATIONAL DIVISION AND GEOGRAPHIC ZONE
The Professional Products Division recorded growth of +3.4% like-for-like and +12.1% based on reported figures. Growth is accelerating in North America and in Western Europe.
- Haircare is the largest contributor to growth, and is continuing to expand, driven by a string of successes: Pro Fiber and Serioxyl by L'Oréal Professionnel, Chronologiste, Thérapiste and Fusio-Dose by Kérastase, and Frizz Dismiss and Extreme Length by Redken. Sales of hair colour in all brands have increased, supported by solid core franchises actively promoted throughout the year. Professional skincare with Carita is expanding rapidly in Western Europe.
- All the geographic Zones are growing. Many Latin American countries are accelerating strongly. Eastern Europe is once again posting double-digit growth. The United States, India and the United Kingdom are the top contributors to growth.
The Consumer Products Division posted growth of +2.5% like-for-like and +10.0% based on reported figures with an acceleration of its performance in the second semester.
- The Division has strengthened its leadership in its number one category, make-up, where every brand has posted fast growth. Maybelline, world number one in make-up, has regained strong momentum, particularly in the United States, thanks to a brisk pace of innovation and its successful digital strategy. L'Oréal Paris has rolled out its powerful new "Makeup Designer Paris" platform. NYX Professional Makeup is continuing to demonstrate its magnetism for young, connected make-up addicts wherever the brand is available, especially in the United States.
Haircare sales increased, driven by the worldwide roll-out of the Extraordinary Oil range by L'Oréal Paris. Ultra Doux by Garnier has launched the new Olive Mythique range, and has expanded successfully into Germany and Spain.
- The Division has returned to a solid growth rate in North America. It is stable in Western Europe with good performances in the United Kingdom and Germany. In all the New Markets it is making progress, with double-digit growth in Eastern Europe and in Africa, Middle East. Finally, e-commerce* is enjoying strong growth across all Zones.
L'Oréal Luxe recorded growth of +6.1% like-for-like and +16.7% based on reported figures. Once again the Division outperformed the market, driven by the dynamism of make-up and fragrances, as well as by e-commerce*.
- Yves Saint Laurent is having an excellent year thanks to the success of Black Opium, also launched in the United States, and major lip make-up innovations with Pop Water and Volupté Tint-in-oil. The dynamic growth of Giorgio Armani is continuing, with strong sales of its fragrances Sì andAcqua di Giò Profumo. The growth of Lancôme is sustained in Europe, driven by the success of the range La vie est belle that became number one, Miracle Cushion foundation (Prix d'Excellence Marie Claire), mascaras and Advanced Génifique skincare. A significant achievement in skincare is Kiehl's chalking up another year of double-digit growth. Urban Decay is today sold in 35 countries, and is maintaining its momentum thanks to the Naked palettes and the brand's face make-up.
- L'Oréal Luxe is growing in all Zones and outperforming the market in Western Europe. North America ended the year well. Despite the volatile economic context in the New Markets, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa, Middle East have posted double-digit growth. The Asia, Pacific Zone is performing well, with a good outcome in China.
The Division is once again demonstrating its great vitality, with sales growth of +7.8% like-for-like and +9.4% based on reported figures, outperforming a very dynamic market.
- Vichy returned to a solid growth rate in the fourth quarter and the launch of the Ideal Body range has enabled the brand to develop strongly in the body care category, while the innovative launch of Neovadiol Substitutive Complex in the second half is a success. For the sixth year running, La Roche-Posay has posted double-digit growth with outstanding figures for its franchises Tolériane, Effaclar, Lipikar and Cicaplast. SkinCeuticals is contributing strongly to the Division's expansion, and is continuing to grow in all Zones. Roger&Gallet is expanding in skincare.
- All Zones are contributing to growth. In the New Markets, the Asia, Pacific, Latin America and Africa, Middle East Zones have all recorded rapid growth. Western Europe accelerated in the second half.
* Sales achieved on our brands' own websites + estimated sales achieved by our brands corresponding to sales through our retailers' websites (non-audited data); like-for-like growth.
MULTI-DIVISION SUMMARY BY GEOGRAPHIC ZONE
In Western Europe, sales grew by +2.3% like-for-like and +4.5% based on reported figures. Thanks to L'Oréal Luxe, and the Active Cosmetics and Professional Products Divisions, the Group is outperforming the market, particularly in Southern Europe, and is recording strong growth in the United Kingdom and Germany. In this Zone, the luxury and dermocosmetics markets continue to enjoy good momentum. While the mass channel is still sluggish, the Garnier brand is winning market share in haircare and skincare.
With growth of +3.5% like-for-like and +23.5% based on reported figures, North America's pace strengthened through the course of the year. At L'Oréal Luxe, Urban Decay, Kiehl's and Yves Saint Laurent all posted double-digit growth. The Professional Products Division is recovering, driven by the impetus of the Redken brand. The Consumer Products Division is fuelled by momentum in make-up, with the breakthrough made by NYX Professional Makeup and the acceleration of Maybelline.
- Asia, Pacific: Sales grew by +4.7% like-for-like and +19.7% based on reported figures. Despite a difficult market in Hong Kong, growth at L'Oréal Luxe improved in the fourth quarter, driven by excellent performances in Japan. Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl's, Giorgio Armani and Urban Decayhave made strong contributions to the Division's success. The Consumer Products Division is benefiting from good performances in India, Australia and Thailand, and from L'Oréal Paris, particularly in China. Magic is in a transitional phase. The Active Cosmetics Division is posting strong growth, driven by La Roche-Posay.
- Latin America: Sales grew by +4.6% like-for-like and +0.9% based on reported figures, thanks to double-digit growth in the Active Cosmetics Division and at L'Oréal Luxe. The very good performances of SkinCeuticals, Vichy, La Roche-Posay, Lancôme and Kiehl's are especially worth noting. If Brazil is excluded, Latin America achieved double-digit like-for-like growth. The environment in Brazil is continuing to hold back the Zone's overall sales.
- Eastern Europe: The Zone posted figures of +9.8% like-for-like and -3.5% based on reported figures. The Consumer Products and Professional Products Divisions, and L'Oréal Luxe, all recorded double-digit growth, driven by Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. All Divisions are making significant market share gains, particularly the Consumer Products Division in all categories (haircare, hair colour, skincare and deodorants), and theMaybelline brand, boosted by the launch of Lash Sensational mascara, recorded the strongest growth increase of the Division.
- Africa, Middle East: Sales growth amounted to +12.1% like-for-like and +28.1% based on reported figures. Growth was particularly fast in Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where it topped 20%. South Africa remains solid. In a context of recent slowdown in several countries, the Garnier,L'Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Kérastase, Vichy and La Roche-Posay brands recorded double-digit growth. All the Divisions are making progress, with market share gains in their respective channels.
THE BODY SHOP
The Body Shop recorded -0.9% like-for-like and +10.7% based on reported figures, with good momentum in Africa, Middle East and in Europe, notably in the United Kingdom, its home market. The strategy of focusing on skincare is paying off in all markets, with a strong contribution from the new Oils of Life range. However, some Asian markets have been subject to a challenging environment, particularly Hong Kong, and sales in the year-end holidays were below expectation in North America.
B - IMPORTANT EVENTS DURING THE PERIOD 10/01/15 - 12/31/15
- No events or changes occurred during the period from October 1 to December 31, 2015 which could significantly modify the Group’s financial situation.
- On January 4, 2016 L’Oréal USA announced the acquisition of Raylon Corporation, a full-service wholesale distributor of salon professional products. The acquisition expands the SalonCentric distribution network and extends coverage of American hair salons.
C - 2015 RESULTS
Audited financial statements, certification in progress.
1) OPERATING PROFITABILITY AT 17.4% OF SALES
Consolidated profit and loss account: from sales to operating profit.
Gross profit, at 17,980 million euros, came out at 71.2% of sales, compared with 71.1% in 2014, that is an increase of 10 basis points.
Research and Development expenses, at 3.1% of sales, have decreased in relative value due to a favourable monetary effect. More than 2/3 of these expenses were made in the euro zone.
Advertising and promotion expenses remained stable compared to 2014, at 29.1% of sales.
Selling, general and administrative expenses, at 21.5% of sales, have come out at a slightly higher level, by 10 basis points compared with 2014.
Overall, the operating profit, at 4,388 million euros, has grown by 12.8% and amounts to 17.4% of sales.
2) OPERATING PROFIT BY OPERATIONAL DIVISION
* Non-allocated = Central Group expenses, fundamental research expenses, stock options and free grant of shares expenses and miscellaneous items. As a % of cosmetics sales.
The profitability of the Professional Products Division at 20.0% is down by 10 basis points, due mainly to the consolidation of Decléor and Carita, which led to a negative impact of 20 basis points for the Division. If acquisitions are excluded, profitability has increased by 10 basis points.
The profitability of the Consumer Products Division at 20.1% is down by 20 basis points compared with 2014, due to the first consolidation of Nielyin Brazil, as anticipated.
The profitability of L'Oréal Luxe grew by 20 basis points in 2015.
At Active Cosmetics, there was a further increase in profitability to reach 22.8%.
The profitability of The Body Shop weakened in 2015, to 5.7%, in a year of major changes, due to disappointing sales in the 4th quarter and to the dilutive impact of the acquisition of the Australian franchisee.
3) PROFITABILITY BY GEOGRAPHIC ZONE
Profitability in Western Europe remained stable at 22.7%.
In North America, profitability improved by 20 basis points, to reach 18.9%.
And in the New Markets, profitability increased again this year by 10 basis points, to reach 19.7%.
4) NET PROFIT FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS
Consolidated profit and loss accounts: from operating profit to net profit excluding non-recurring items.
* Net profit excluding non-recurring items after non-controlling interests does not include impairment of assets, restructuring costs, tax effects or non-controlling interests.
** Diluted earnings per share, based on net profit from continuing operations, excluding non-recurring items, attributable to the owners of the company.
Finance expenses amounted to 14 million euros.
Sanofi dividends amounted to 337 million euros.
Income tax excluding non-recurring items amounted to 1,220 million euros. This represents a tax rate of 25.9%, slightly higher than that of 2014 which came out at 25.5%.
Net profit excluding non-recurring items after non-controlling interests amounted to 3,490 million euros, up by 11.7%.
Earnings per Share, at 6.18 euros, is up by 15.7% compared to Earnings per Share of 2014.
Non-recurring items after non-controlling interests amounted to 192 million euros in 2015, due mainly to the accounting impact of the deconsolidation of the Venezuelan subsidiary and to the French tax of 3% on the dividends distributed.
Net profit came out at 3,297 million euros.
5) CASH FLOW STATEMENT, BALANCE SHEET AND NET FINANCIAL SITUATION
Gross cash flow amounted to 4,399 million euros, an increase of +15.5%.
The working capital requirement increased in 2015 to 196 million euros. This increase is mainly due to the fine paid to the French competition authority for an amount of 189 million euros.
Investments amounted to 1,172 million euros, representing 4.6% of sales, slightly higher than in 2014, when it represented 4.5% of sales.
The net cash came out, at December 31, 2015, at 618 million euros, compared with a net debt of 671 million euros at December 31, 2014.
The balance sheet remains particularly solid with shareholders' equity amounting to some 24 billion euros.
6) PROPOSED DIVIDEND AT THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF APRIL 20, 2016
The Board of Directors has decided to propose that the Shareholders' Annual General Meeting of April 20, 2016 should approve a dividend of 3.10 euros per share, an increase of 14.8 % compared with the dividend paid in 2015. The dividend will be paid on May 3, 2016 (ex-dividend date April 29, 2016 at 0:00 a.m., Paris time).
7) SHARE CAPITAL
As of December 31, 2015, the capital of the company is formed by 562,983,348 shares, each with one voting right.
"This news release does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy L'Oréal shares. If you wish to obtain more comprehensive information about L'Oréal, please refer to the public documents registered in France with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, also available in English on our Internet site www.loreal-finance.com.
This news release may contain some forward-looking statements. Although the Company considers that these statements are based on reasonable hypotheses at the date of publication of this release, they are by their nature subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated or projected in these statements."
This is a free translation into English of the 2015 Annual Results news release issued in the French language and is provided solely for the convenience of English speaking readers. In case of discrepancy, the French version prevails.
CONTACTS AT L'ORÉAL
Individual shareholders and market authorities
Mr Jean Régis CAROF
Tel.: +33 1 47 56 83 02
Financial analysts and Institutional investors
Mrs Françoise LAUVIN
Tel.: +33 1 47 56 86 82
Mrs Stephanie CARSON-PARKER
Tel.: +33 1 47 56 76 71
Tel.: +33 1 47 56 70 00
For more information, please contact your bank, broker or financial institution (I.S.I.N. code: FR0000120321), and consult your usual newspapers, the Internet site for shareholders and investors, www.loreal-finance.com, or the L'Oréal Finance mobile app, alternatively, call +33 1 40 14 80 50.
D – APPENDICES
APPENDIX 1: L'ORÉAL GROUP SALES 2014/2015 (€ MILLIONS)