L'Oréal S.A. is a French cosmetic and personal care company and a leader in beauty product research and development and sales. The multinational company is headquartered in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France. L'Oréal manufactures a wide range of consumer and luxury products for sale in pharmacies and other retail outlets, including hair care, skincare, sun protection, makeup, and fragrances. The company also has a Professional Products division that manufactures products sold exclusively in beauty salons. The company owns 36 brands and continues to acquire some of the world's leading beauty brands. In 2019, the company also registered 497 patents.

Key Takeaways

  • The year 2019 was the L'Oréal's best year for sales growth since 2007.
  • The company owns 36 brands and continues to acquire some of the world's leading beauty brands.
  • Maybelline New York, Garnier, NYX Professional Makeup, CeraVe, and Redken are some of L'Oréal's top acquisitions.
  • Since the company's founding, L'Oréal has focused on targeted acquisitions designed to compliment and increase the scope of its original product offerings; in 2018, the company acquired La Roche-Posay, Modiface, and Giorgio Armani Beauty.

Jean-Paul Agon has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L'Oréal since March of 2011. Nicolas Hieronimus serves as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer in Charge of Divisions, Laurent Attal serves as the Executive Vice President of Research and Innovation, and Christophe Babule serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

L'Oréal's Growth in 2019

The year 2019 was the company's best year for sales growth since 2007. Total sales in 2019 were equal to €29.87 billion, an increase of 8.0% in like-for-like sales growth. The company posted earnings per share of €7.74, representing an increase of 9.3% over the previous year. This resulted in a net profit after non-controlling interests of €4.35 billion, for an increase of 9.3% over the previous year.

1. Maybelline New York

Maybelline Logo

In 1915, Mabel Williams launched Maybell Laboratories with her brother. By the 1930s, the company was selling a variety of cosmetic products across the U.S. L'Oréal announced plans to purchase Maybelline in a cash deal for a reported $508 million in 1995. Trisha Ayyagari is the Global Brand President of Maybelline New York. As a subsidiary, Maybelline is a key component of L'Oréal's Consumer Products Division, which accounted for 42.7% of L'Oréal's sales in 2019. Since its 1995 acquisition, Maybelline has continued to provide affordable cosmetics in stores around the world, with a particular focus on eye products. Maybelline New York is also the official makeup sponsor of 13 fashion weeks around the world. In 2009, Maybelline secured the title of Official Makeup Sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in its hometown of New York City.

2. Garnier

Garnier Logo

Launched in 1904 and acquired by L'Oréal 1965 for an undisclosed amount, Garnier is one of the largest brands in the L'Oréal family. Adrien Koskas is Garnier's Global Brand President. As a brand, Garnier focuses on both skincare and hair care products. In addition to being a crucial component of L'Oréal's overall revenue stream as a part of L'Oréal's Consumer Products division, Garnier is helping L'Oréal continue to develop its sustainability practices. Over the years, Garnier has committed to sustainably sourcing its ingredients, improving the biodegradability of its products, and lessening the environmental impact of its packaging.

4. NYX Professional Makeup

NYX Cosmetics Logo

In 1999, the 25-year-old entrepreneur Toni Ko founded NYX Cosmetics. When the company first launched, it only sold makeup pencils, but it quickly expanded to include eye colors and lipstick sold at affordable prices. L'Oréal acquired NYX Cosmetics in 2014. NYX Cosmetics, now known as NYX Professional Makeup, is headquartered in Los Angeles and is available in more than 70 countries. At the time of L'Oréal’s acquisition, NYX Cosmetics products were available at retail stores such as Target and Ulta. The acquisition gave L'Oréal access to markets where sales of its own products had been slowing.

4. CeraVe

CeraVe Logo

L'Oréal announced plans to purchase skincare brands CeraVe, AcneFree, and Ambi in 2017. These three brands were purchased for $1.3. Founded in 2005, CeraVe makes cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, and other related products. CeraVe products can be purchased in beauty retailers, drug stores, and online. The purchase also included AcneFree, a maker of over-the-counter skin cleansers and acne-removal products available without a prescription, and Ambi, a maker of generalized skincare products.

5. Redken

Redken Logo

Actress and entrepreneur Paula Kent Meehan founded Redken in 1960. The name Redken combines the last names of the actress and her stylist, Jheri Redding. Redken owns more than 60 global patents on haircare products and ingredients and is sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. Headquartered in New York City, the company was acquired by L'Oréal in 1993 for an undisclosed amount.

Recent Acquisitions

In recent years, L'Oréal has moved to acquire several new subsidiary cosmetics companies. In 2018, for instance, the company acquired La Roche-Posay, Modiface, and Giorgio Armani Beauty. L'Oréal views acquisitions as a fundamental part of its business strategy. Since the company's founding roughly a century ago, L'Oréal has focused on targeted acquisitions designed to compliment and increase the scope of its original product offerings. Today, L'Oréal enjoys one of the most diverse portfolios of any cosmetics company in the world. This is a key portion of the company's long-term growth strategy.