By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Sarah White
PARIS (Reuters) - L'Oreal's
Shares in the French industry leader, were up 6.6 percent midday, one of the best performers on European markets <.STOXX>.
The stock is up nearly 10 percent so far in 2018, though like luxury goods firms which rely on Chinese clients for a big chunk of sales, it had suffered since the summer amid fears a Beijing-Washington trade war would puncture demand.
"Luxury in Asia is flying," L'Oreal Chairman and CEO Jean-Paul Agon told analysts on Tuesday, after reporting a 7.5 percent rise in comparable sales that far exceeded forecasts.
The company's luxury division also includes Yves Saint Laurent and Armani make-up and perfumes, and labels like Clarisonic.
"There have been rumours about a slowing down of luxury consumption in Asia. I don't know where these rumours come from - at least regarding our business, it's still doing extremely well ... There is absolutely no sign of a slowing down of consumption in China," Agon added.
L'Oreal joins fashion brands like Gucci-owner Kering
Several firms have said the strong momentum had spilled into the start of the fourth quarter.
In early October, rumours that Chinese customs agents were carrying out more thorough checks on travellers to find undeclared goods added to investor jitters, fuelling fears it could discourage customers who shop abroad.
But Louis Vuitton-owner LVMH
Some analysts said L'Oreal and beauty firms were particularly well positioned if Chinese demand stayed strong.
"Low-ticket luxury items such as cosmetics are so far holding up much better than high-ticket purchases," RBC Capital Markets analyst James Edwardes Jones said in a note.
Not all industries are experiencing this resilience. A softer performance in China weighed on speciality chemicals group Clariant
Banking group Standard Chartered
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Sarah White; Editing by Inti Landauro, David Evans and Alexandra Hudson)