PARIS (Reuters) - Lancome-owner L'Oreal on Thursday reported a higher than expected 7.7 percent rise in comparable sales in the fourth quarter, boosted by demand for its higher-end skincare products and a strong performance in Asia Pacific.
The world's biggest beauty company has tapped into thriving appetite from Chinese shoppers in recent years, and this boom has shown little signs of slowing yet, with rivals such as Estee Lauder also riding high on demand in China.
L'Oreal revenues came in at 7.1 billion euros (£6.2 billion) in the fourth quarter, up 8.6 percent on a reported basis. Like-for-like sales growth, which strips out currency effects and acquisitions, beat the 6.4 percent rise forecast in a survey of analysts by Infront Data for Reuters.
For 2018 as a whole, the company's operating profit rose 5.3 percent to 4.7 billion euros, giving a margin of 18.3 percent of sales, up from 18 percent at the end of 2017.
(Reporting by Sarah White and Pascale Denis; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)