Jean-Paul Agon talks L’Oreal in February
“Whatever happens, L’Oreal is a very solid company able to resist in any environment.” That was the message Jean-Paul Agon, the company’s CEO, was pushing in interviews. He continued: “I don’t wish that there is a crisis, but if there was one, or a difficult moment, we would be very ready to go through it.”
No doubt this is a comforting sentiment for investors given the recent sell-off and volatility in the market. It’s also one that is supported by the figures: L’Oreal posted stronger than expected fourth quarter earnings earlier this month, seeing its like-for-like sales rise by 5.5% against the fourth quarter of the previous year.
Another subject that was on Agon’s mind was Nestle. The company still owns 23% of L’Oreal, and if it wants to change that, Agon is willing to foot the bill. He said: “If Nestle one day wants to sell, we are ready.”
He also expanded on the company’s earnings, noting that L’Oreal Luxe “is delivering spectacular growth, particularly in Asia.” But cautioned that “it’s difficult to know” whether that growth is sustainable in the long term.
L’Oreal was also recognized in February as “one of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies,” by the Ethisphere Institute, a “global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.”
Speaking about the award, Agon said: "A company's value is not measured by its sole economic performance. Because L'Oréal has always strived to be a virtuous and responsible company, we have placed ethics at the heart of our strategy and daily practices. It is this approach that is recognized today by Ethisphere, and it is a source of pride for all of us."
Dominion holds L’Oreal in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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