French cosmetics giant L'Oreal sees sales down slightly as Asia slows

PARIS – French cosmetics giant L’Oreal says revenue fell slightly in the third quarter, as sales slowed in Asia, a market the company increasingly relies on.

The company behind Maybelline makeup and Garnier shampoo said revenue for the July-to-September period was 5.48 billion euros ($7.54 billion), a decline of 0.8 per cent over the same period last year. That was just off the consensus of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Surprisingly, it was sales in North America, which had been rebounding, and new markets that slid, down 2.7 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively. The company said growth is lagging in South Korea, China and India, markets that had buoyed L’Oreal during the crisis in Europe.

Sales in Western Europe, by contrast, were up 1.4 per cent, largely due to a rebound in northern Europe.