BEAUTY CARE

L’Oreal posts 2008 results; braces for challenging 2009

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARIS Beauty company L’Oreal Paris experienced a slight increase in total sales for 2008 and acknowledged that the environment will remain challenging and it is “tackling 2009 with realism, confidence and resolve.”

“Realism because the economic environment will certainly be difficult and we are prepared for this. Confidence because the cosmetics market has always shown resilience at times of crisis, and because L’Oreal’s fundamentals are strong and our financial situation is robust,” stated Jean-Paul Agon, L’Oreal CEO. “But also resolve, because thanks to our product innovation momentum, the unique quality of our brand portfolio, our possibilities for geographic expansion and our determination to strengthen our business drivers and control our costs, we are confident in L’Oreal’s ability to successfully weather this adverse economic climate and to even emerge stronger than before.”

No specific outlook was provided for 2009.

Total group sales for 2008 rose 2.8% and totaled 17.5 billion euros. Sales on a like-for-like basis rose 3.1%.

Net profit, excluding one-time items, rose from 2.04 billion euros to 2.06 billion euros. However, net profit, hampered by a charge of 115 million euros, dropped nearly 27 percent to 1.95 billion euros in 2008.

In North America, sales based on reported figures declined 6.6 percent and totaled 3.7 billion euros for 2008. On a like-for-like basis, sales slipped 4.8%.

The company noted that, in North America, there was a clear deterioration in the market during the fourth quarter, particularly in department stores, where sales were disappointing over the year-ago holiday period. Also, in salons the number of visits continued to decline. Overall, the group was slightly below the market trend, but still strengthened its positions in the consumer products, professional products and active cosmetics.

In its consumer products division within the United States, the company experienced an increase in market share despite inventory reductions by some large distributors. During the year, there were significant advances in facial skin care with Revitalift and the increasingly successful Garnier Nutritionist, launched in 2007, the company stated.

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American Airlines to provide amenity kits featuring Burt’s Bees products

BY Antoinette Alexander

FORT WORTH, Texas Select customers traveling on American Airline’s International Flagship Service will begin to see refreshed amenity kits that will include some new items such as Burt’s Bees natural personal care products.

“We consistently seek to align our product and service offerings with what our customers value so that we can provide a better overall travel experience,” stated Lauri Curtis, VP, Onboard Service. “The redesigned amenity kit, thanks to input from our customers and flight attendants, includes premium products our customers value, like Burt’s Bees, which more closely meet their needs.”

According to the airlines, travelers in select markets will now begin to see the new kits, with the roll out continuing in the coming weeks. American is providing larger-sized cosmetic products, including Burt’s Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion, Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, Colgate toothpaste, a toothbrush with a re-sealable cap, thicker plush socks and larger eyeshades.

The redesigned kits will replace the current amenity kit, which American’s customers have received since June 2007.

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P&G unveils Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion hair care line

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Looking to leverage the popularity of natural or nature-inspired personal care products, P&G Beauty’s Pantene brand has developed the new Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion line for hair.

Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion has two collections: Moisture Balance and Smooth Vitality shampoos and conditioners.

The Moisture Balance collection is ideal for women with thick, dry hair and is formulated with a blend of cassia, calendula, ginger and aloe vera extracts to moisturize hair.

The Smooth Vitality collection is formulated with a blend of cassia, avocado, bamboo and grape seed extracts. This collection has three products: shampoo, conditioner and a leave-in treatment to help transform frizzy hair while strengthening against damage. The leave-in Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Smoothing Creme rounds out the three-step regime.

The products, which are available beginning this month, have a suggested retail price of $3.99 for the Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion shampoos and conditioners. The Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion treatment has a suggested retail price of $5.99.

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