The gorgeous set includes seven different lipstick and nail polish pairings.
All kinds of hair care waste that would otherwise end up in trash cans will now be recycled.
On this week's podcast: L'Oreal banks on women to lead the climate fight; protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline cause international banks to divest.
The Hollywood Reporter
In case you missed it.
"No tears meant like no tears like no tears in your hair; no tangles..."
L'Oréal Co. (LRLCF) First Half 2017 Earnings Conference Call June 28, 2017 03:00 am ET Executives Françoise Lauvin - Head, IR Sophie Gasperment - General Manager, Financial Communication and Strategic Perspective Jean-Paul Agon - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Christian Mulliez - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Analysts Marion Boucheron - Raymond James Mark Astrachan - Stifel Fulvio Cazzol - Goldman Sachs Pinar Ergun - UBS Eva Quiroga - Deutsche Bank Alex Smith - Barclays Charles Manso - Societe Generale Guillaume Delmas - Bank of America Merrill Lynch Rosie Edwards - Berenberg Presentation Thank you, Matilda. Welcome to L'Oréal's Conference Call for the Release of the First Half 2017 Sales and Results. Hosting this conference today are Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Paul Agon. Jean-Paul Agon Good morning. Françoise Lauvin Chief Financial Officer, Christian Mulliez. Christian Mulliez Good morning. Françoise Lauvin And General Manager, Financial Communication and Strategic Perspective, Sophie Gasperment. Sophie Gasperment Hello. Françoise Lauvin I hope you received the press release, which was sent out yesterday after the market close. Our presentation this morning will start with the financial highlights given by Christian Mulliez. After his financial introduction, Jean-Paul will review the key features of the past semester and share with you his perspective over the future. This will leave plenty of room for your questions. During the call, the presentation material can be found on our website where they can be downloaded. It can also be seen on L'Oréal's finance app. A replay of the call will be accessible later today on the same website and app. The French and English versions of the half year financial report will be available in the course of the next few days. For discussion part of the meeting, please be so kind as to identify yourself and raise one question at a time in order to allow as many of you know as possible to participate. I wish you a very good conference. Let me now hand over to Christian for the financial results. Christian Mulliez Thank you, Françoise. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. The presentation of L'Oréal's financial results for the first half of 2017 will include information about sales, profit, cash flow and balance sheet. Consolidated sales amounted to €13.411 billion, up by 4% reported. Like-for-like sales grew by 4.3%. Changes in the scope of consolidation were negative at minus 2.1%. This corresponds firstly to acquisitions at plus 1%, that is the consolidation of IT Cosmetics over full year and CeraVe in the United States from March 2017. And secondly, The Body Shop is accounted for business and for sale in the first half of 2017, which leads to a minus 3.1% impact. The currency impact was positive at plus 1.8%. Note that extrapolating from the June 30, 2017, exchange rate of Euro at $1.14 up to the end of the year would lead to a currency impact of minus 0.4% on full year sales. Currencies in this table groups top 10 invoicing currencies. The Euro has weakened against most currencies in the first half of 2017 compared with the first half of 2016. The only exceptions being the Chinese Yuan, the Pound Sterling and the Mexican Peso. You will note amongst the main changes from half year to half year the appreciation of the Brazilian Real plus 20% and the Russian Ruble at plus 24%. Invoicing in US Dollar at 26% of the total is now significantly greater than the sales in Europe, which represent 24% of the total. Like-for-like sales by division. The sales of the Professional Products division improved slightly in the second quarter and came out at minus 0.7% in the first half. The US and French market remained difficult. Consumer Products posted an increase of plus 1.9% in the first half, with an improvement in the second quarter at plus 2.4%. The US market has turned out to be difficult since January 2017, while Western Europe and the New Markets have accelerated. L'Oréal Luxe at plus 10.5% is delivering sustained growth in quite a lively market. Here too, performances were good in Western Europe and the new markets, especially in Asia. The United States is deteriorating compared with 2016. Active Cosmetics at plus 4.6%, with as announced at the start of the year, a much stronger second quarter than the first. Active Cosmetics has posted a modest amount in Western Europe and is very robust in all other regions. And to be completely exhaustive I can tell you that The Body Shop recorded like-for-like growth of plus 2.6% in the first half. Geography. All the geographic zones achieved growth. Western Europe rose plus 3% like-for-like with the second quarter slightly higher than the first. Note the very strong performances of the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain and the persistence of a difficult market in France. North America at plus 3.1% with the second quarter slightly below the first quarter, with the mass market that has been amazingly slow since January after a lively market in 2016. L'Oréal Luxe however remains in mid-single-digit growth despite a deceleration compared with 2016. The New Markets are still delivering sustained 6.2% growth, slightly improving compared with the first quarter. Note a clear improvement of the growth in Asia, the continuing sustained increase in Latin America, the slowdown in Russia and a gradual back to normal as announced, is in Africa, Middle East. The P&L. Let's begin by analyzing gross profit. Gross profit at €9.631 billion or 71.8% of sales decreased by 60 basis points compared with 72.4% in the first half of 2016. The impact of foreign exchange, both translation and transaction, was negative by 60 basis points. The impact of changes in the scope of consolidation was slightly negative by 10 basis points, and the disposal of The Body Shop had no impact on this ratio. Overall, therefore gross margin, excluding impacts of currency and changes in the scope of consolidation, has improved slightly by about 10 basis points. R&D expenses have risen by 2.6%. Their relative level remains stable at 3.2% of sales. Advertising and promotion expenses decreased slightly from 29.4% of sales in the first half 2016 to 29.2% of sales. This slight reduction of less than 20 basis points results mainly from acquisitions, the impact of acquisitions, which represented about 30 basis points while the impact of the sale of The Body Shop accounting for only five basis points. On a constant scope of consolidation basis, our advertising and promotion expenses have thus increased in volume in line with strategic choice confirmed for 2017 to threaten the resources allocated to growing and building of branch. Note the continuing expansion of Digital whose expenses accounted for some 35% of our media spending compared with 30% in the first half of 2016. Selling, general and administrative expenses at 20.6% of sales have been considerably reduced by 80 basis points. This is due not only to the sale of The Body Shop, which represents the same amount 80 basis points, but also to a constantly forced to raise productivity in our organization offset by the acceleration of our digital activities and of the boutiques component of some of our brands. Overall, the operating profit at €2.530 billion has risen by 7.1% to 18.9% of sales that is an increase of 60 basis points. By division. Each year, I start this commentary with a reminder that the L'Oréal Group is managed on the basis of annual periods and that half year operating profitability cannot, therefore, be extrapolated for the full year. This is particularly true this time, as the beauty market has turned out to be highly atypical in the first half, with strongly differentiated gross rates across the channel, and thus, at L'Oréal across the division. And furthermore, we have decided to maintain the investments initially planned so as to support the construction of our brands. We will also have to be cautious next year if you wish to use this first half 2017 financial data as a base to work on for your first half 2008 [ph] estimates, but that will be next year. I will, therefore, limit myself to factual comments that in the first half of 2017, profitability of Professional Products had returned from 19.6% to 18.4%; that Consumer Products saw their profitability decrease from 21.2% to 19.8%; that L'Oréal Luxe recorded very strong improvement from 21.3% and 23.4%, that is plus 210 basis points; and that Cosmetic Activity remains at a very high profitability of 26.7%. Non-allocated expenses, consisting mainly of corporate and fundamental research expenses, have remained stable at 2.5% of sales. For the Group as a whole, the first half is at 18.9% already in line with our global road map. This is a strong 60 basis points increase. From operating profit to net profit, excluding non-recurring items. The net financial expenses were close to €10 million. Over the full year 2017, net finance costs in the order of €30 million can be anticipated, all other things being equal. Sanofi dividends amounted to €350 million. Income tax amounted to €687 million, representing a tax rate of 24%, slightly below 25.4% rate in the first half of 2016. Most of the reduction is due to time lag in the recognition of tax refunds or deferred tax assets. For the full year 2017, the tax rate in the order of 25.5% to 26% can be confirmed, all other things being equal. Net profit from continuing operations, excluding non-recurring items, amounted to €2.185 billion, up by 7.9% compared with the net profit, excluding non-recurring items, reported in the first half of 2016. And the corresponding EPS amounted to €3.88, up by 8.1%. Over the full year, I can confirm that we aim to achieve another increase in sales, in profit and in operating profitability from the level of 17.6% achieved in 2016, as indicated in February. The credit impact on profitability of the disposal of The Body Shop means that we will both reinforce our business drivers [ph] and raise our profitability, which could, for the first time ever, reach 18% of sales in 2017. To help you in your analysis, we are providing you as an appendix to this presentation in the online file on our website, with a structure of the operating profit and loss account of L'Oréal, without The Body Shop, for the first half of 2016 and for the full year 2016. And lastly, to help you in your EPS estimate for the full year, I would recommend you base your calculation on the dilutive number of shares of 564 million. Let's now complete the review of the consolidated P&L. After the non-recurring items and the impact of IFRS 5 accounting rule with regard to The Body Shop, net income increased strongly by 37.7% to €2.37 billion compared with the first half of 2016. The non-recurring items relate mainly to various reorganization decisions and to the French tax of 3% on dividend payments representing a total of €55 million. As for the impact of the IFRS accounting rule in the profits relating to The Body Shop in the first half, it's important to note that of this amount of €29 million, The Body Shop posted €16 million loss because of the seasonality of this activity. Cash flow. Gross cash flow amounted to €2.634 billion, up by 6.8%. Change in working capital has increased significantly, which happens every year in the first half, particularly as a result of the impact of the seasonality of some of our businesses on trade accounts receivable in 2017 full year. The change in working capital should increase a bit - should increase by a little over €100 million. CapEx at €641 million, representing 4.8% of sales over the full year, as we indicated in February, should be at the same level as in 2016 at a little over 5% of sales. Operating cash flow increased by a very strong plus 23% to €1.629 billion. And finally, after payment of the dividend, share buybacks and the acquisition of CeraVe, the residual cash flow amounts to minus €1.954 billion. Balance sheet. Consolidated balance sheet is particularly solid with shareholder liquidity at around €25 billion. And the last slide which I made, financial situation, which is healthy, as net debt amounts to €1.492 billion after payment of the annual dividend of €1.900 billion in May. Thank you for your attention. Jean-Paul Agon Thank you, Christian. Jean-Paul Agon now on the line. So as you have seen, L'Oréal has delivered a solid first half, growing like-for-like by plus 4.3% in consolidated sales despite a volatile environment and very atypical beauty market. Christian commented on our results very effectively, so I will not repeat them. But I would like to stress that these results are consistently good right across the board. The growth of plus 7.1% in operating profit, the reinforcement of our operating margin at 18.9%, and I would stress again that the results per division are absolutely not indicative of their results for the year less than they've ever been. An increase of around plus 8% in net profit, excluding non-recurring items and in earnings per share, the cash flow up 23% and all these bodes well for yet another increase this year of our dividend. These results are a good illustration of our operational discipline and of the robustness of our balanced value creating business model. I will now comment on market dynamics and then focus on the performance on our divisions and regions, and finally, give you some insights into our strategic plans and perspectives for the rest of the year. First, a few words about the market. Our estimates at the end of June show that, once again, the beauty market has held up well, with the pace of growth of around plus 4%, very similar to last year and to the indication that we gave back in February. The difference this year is that growth is very contrasted by sector. Luxury is still championing the growth of the market, especially in Asia Pacific and Travel Retail, while the makeup category is very dynamic. Dermo-cosmetics continue to deliver a healthy growth, but the mass market has slowed down in most regions, notably in the US, as we mentioned earlier this year already. And Professional is still lagging behind. Finally, across the board, e-commerce continues to do well very significantly. By region, volatility and consumption turbulences now occur within each zone. The French market remains difficult. But in the rest of Western Europe, all sectors are strengthening from mass to Luxury. So overall, the zone continues to improve. North America, which represents almost a quarter of the global beauty market, is less than - last year due to a much software mass market. New Markets continued to drive market growth worldwide, but remains somewhat unpredictable and very contrasted country by country. With ongoing challenges in Brazil, tensions in Gulf countries and a slowdown in Russia, but New Markets are strengthening overall, thanks to Asia Pacific, where the sudden hurdle in South Korea and the initial impact of the upcoming GST tax in India are more than offset by the recovery of Hong Kong and the acceleration of China's luxury sector. Turning to our H1 performance. We have achieved plus 4.3% in like-for-like sales, slightly ahead of the market. In this very contrasted beauty market, our performances by divisions over the first six months have been logically very differentiated. L'Oréal Luxe continues to forge ahead, with double-digit growth and significant market share gains. Asia, where the division has built very strong brands, is particularly dynamic and over performing, so is Travel Retail. L'Oréal Luxe is also gaining further share in Western Europe, where it is growing at twice the market rate. L'Oréal Luxe is driven by the stellar performance of YSL, the excellent results of Giorgio Armani and IT Cosmetics and as well as the strength of Lancôme and Kiehl's. L'Oréal Luxe, which is at the sharp end of trends, is growing in makeup almost two times faster than the category. In skincare, the division is growing ahead of the market, thanks to innovations and the vitality of its iconic pillars. And in fragrances, the recent launches of YSL and Armani have also been successful. As expected and announced, Active Cosmetics has reaccelerated. La Roche-Posay remains very dynamic, thanks to successful innovations, a good suncare season, further consumer reach and deepening of its partnerships with health professionals. SkinCeuticals, promoting integrated skincare, is also expanding fast. And Vichy latest release, Mineral 89, is off to an excellent start. And CeraVe definitely complements the division's brand portfolio and is already contributing with double-digit growth. The Consumer Products division has picked up the pace in the second quarter despite a number of slower markets year-to-date, notably the US market. The over performance of the division in Europe is significant. Conversely, Brazil remains difficult, and China selling continues to be hampered by the de-stocking impact of the ongoing channel shift. All the more, the e-commerce now represents almost 30% of our sales. The Consumer Products division continues to nurture its unique portfolio of four powerful and complementary global brands. The strategic choice towards makeup is paying off, with landmark launches for all brands and the success of mixed professional makeup. In parallel, the launch of Colorista, a hair color co-created with Millennials, is reinventing the category. And skin care is regaining ground, thanks to breakthrough products at both L'Oréal Paris and Garnier. Finally, the Professional Products division remains lackluster and disappointing, despite some improvement in the second quarter, but the steps that we have taken in terms of leadership, innovation and investment to reignite the market should yield more compelling growth over time. Spanning all divisions, our Travel Retail business thrives, recording double-digit growth. And crucially, across the Group, we continue to leverage our Digital edge. Digital now amounts to 35% of our media spend, while e-commerce continues to flourish at plus 30% at the end of June, reaching 7% of our sales. By geographic zones, Western Europe has achieved another very solid performance. We grew twice as fast as the market, despite the persistent drag of France. We're increasing already high market share, with particularly strong performances in the UK, Spain and Germany. North America is growing in line with the market both in Mass and Luxury. Active Cosmetics in North America, which is leading the development of the category, is growing double digits, driven by the success of La Roche-Posay, SkinCeuticals and the addition of CeraVe. Our new markets confirmed good pace of growth, driven by marked over performance in Eastern Europe and an acceleration of Asia Pacific. In China, growing at plus 6% in total, Luxe is thriving, with Lancôme, Kiehl's and YSL capturing the premiumization [ph] trend. The Consumer division is gradually improving, thanks to L'Oréal Paris, the number one beauty product in China in both off and online. In South Asia, India is feeling the impact of the forthcoming GST tax implementation. But Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are hitting double-digit growth. Latin America has slowed down, but this is a tale of two-part: on one side, a difficult Brazil; and the other side, a dynamic Hispanic zone, with Mexico scoring double-digit growth. Africa and Middle East challenges are mainly linked to the Gulf countries' environment, where the market is negative, but the situation is easing progressively. All in all, after the solid first half, we are looking forward to the rest of the year with confidence for the following reasons. Firstly, the beauty market should grow this year again at around 4%. Secondly, our unique global flotilla of brands enables us to tap into segmenting consumer aspirations to connect with a multifaceted consumer base and to see ascending trends. Thirdly, we will continue to accentuate our Digital edge. We now have more than 1,700 digital experts on board and almost 10 times that number of skilled leaders driving our digital acceleration. L2 has ranked us at least two of our brands in the Digital IQ Top five in a number of countries, such as the US, China and Germany. And with our strategically centralized, yet operationally decentralized agile approach, we are moving forward fast, skinning up what works best to extend our leader. The fourth factor underpinning our confidence is that we have a very strong innovation plan for the second half, with powerful initiatives across all divisions. L'Oréal Luxe will fuel its momentum with a flurry of innovation ranging from Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara and Génifique Sensitive to Yves Saint Laurent new men's fragrance and iconic Yves Saint Laurent [indiscernible] extension. In addition, Kiehl's will release its brightening and smoothing treatment and Armani Emporio, a new dual fragrance. IT Cosmetics will continue to increment the growth of L'Oréal Luxe with the launch of new Bye Bye Redness. The Consumer Products division will build on very powerful launches on all brands. These brands from L'Oréal Paris' highly promising Lash Paradise, [indiscernible] to Maybelline SuperStay matte ink with superior exclusive technology, and Garnier's [indiscernible] skin active natural range as well as Ultra DOUX [indiscernible] coconut and the global rollout of Fructis renovation. In parallel, mixed professional makeup will continue to add pace. For the Professional Products division, we will maximize in the second half our recent innovations, such as Biolage R.A.W. and Kérastase Aura Botanica, both of which have seized the natural trend. Another example is our bonders, which enabled us a new in-salon service or COLORFULHAIR, our new direct dye palette, which offers thousands of bespoke results. In addition, L'Oréal Professionnel SERIE EXPERT is opening a new chapter with the introduction of Powermix, the first in-salon personalized freshly mixed mask. Active Cosmetics, last but not least, will be bolstered by a strong innovation pipeline. Vichy, as I said, has just launched a new-generation skincare, Mineral 89, which is off to an excellent start and would soon release Neovadiol Rose Platinum as well as [indiscernible] solutions in hair care. La Roche-Posay's core franchises will also introduce advanced products, such as EFFACLAR DUO, Lipikar AP and Toleriane periodic cleanses. As for CeraVe, it is addressing a very complementary consumer target and will enhance the divisions cloud. Ultimately, our confidence for 2017 is also rooted in our capacity to secure a significant level of investment in our brand in each division, so that we continue to strengthen our positions. We'll review the accretive impact of The Body Shop sale to both take our full year profitability to a record level, our operating margin potentially reaching 18% for the very first time and to increase our brand building investment to fuel our growth. To conclude, adding to this pivotal driver is our balance business model and our operational discipline, we are confident in our ability to reinforce our organic growth in the second half to outperform, once again, the beauty market in 2017 and to deliver yet another year of increasing sales and profit. Thank you very much. And now on to the Q&A. Click here to read question and answer session
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