French cosmetic group, the world’s largest. Established in 1907 by the chemist Eugène Schueller, the brand made its début in the hair products sector for professional use. Over the years, the group expanded its activity to cover all market segments (perfumes, treatments, make-up). As a partial result of large acquisitions that foster research and new products, the group today offers a unique combination of over 500 brands, ranging from the highest quality to the mass distribution brands, making a total of 80,000 products and about 200 new articles launched every year. Almost 5% of turnover is allocated to research. In Italy, L’Oréal has four companies: L’Oréal Saipo, Parfums et Beauté, Helena Rubinstein, and Cosmétique Active. The majority shareholder is still the Bettencourt Gesparal family, descendants of the founder.
&Quad;1999. Turnover grew 12%.
&Quad;2000, March. The French giant announced the acquisition of the American group Carson (turnover: 380 million dollars), which specializes in ethnic cosmetics and the African markets, in which it makes 25% of its turnover. The purpose of the acquisition was to give L’Oréal better penetration of these markets.
&Quad;2000. Acquisition of two companies: Scandinavian Respons and 35% of the Japanese Shu Uemura.
&Quad;2001. L’Oréal Italy, the group’s Italian holding, closed 2001 with a turnover of 878.3 million euros, +6.3% on 2000.
&Quad;2002. The balance sheet had a consolidated turnover of 14.3 billion euros, +8.9 millions compared to 2001. The group has more than 48,000 collaborators and sells in 150 countries. These results are greatly due to the sales boom in China (+61%), where the distribution network was strengthened and, above all, a new production plant was under construction. Active since 1908, L’Oréal Italy is the third largest cosmetics company in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. A new production center is to be built in Milan, which will support the long established Turin plant.
&Quad;2005, April. The actress Eva Longoria signed a contract with L’Oréal Paris to become the brand’s new “face”.
&Quad;2005, May. The group announced the acquisition of Texan SkinCeuticals, a company which distributes its cosmetic products to dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and high level spas. The group’s target is to integrate the company into its cosmeceutics division.