L'Oreal expects China to become No. 3 market this year

08:47, July 09, 2010      

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A senior official from L'Oreal Group, the world's largest cosmetics maker, said Wednesday that China is expected to be its third largest market after the US and France by the end of this year, up from the fifth place in 2009.

Lan Zhenzhen, the vice-president of L'Oreal China, made this remark in Shanghai, as the company delivered its first sustainable development report due to China's promising market performance.

"China has occupied five percent of the Group's market as of the end of last year, and the sales figures in the first half of this year have shown that China has moved even higher," said Lan, without elaborating on the exact figures.

The company witnessed a growth of 17.7 percent to 8.18 billion yuan ($1.21 billion) sales in China last year, a double-digit gain for the ninth consecutive year. L'Oreal has an 11.7 percent market share in China.

Currently, 17 of the group's 26 international brands have entered China. Francis Quinn, director of sustainable development for L'Oreal, said the company will "introduce little by little" other international brands to China as the market develops.

"I am not surprised at the growth figures," Xiao Mingchao, deputy general manager of Sinomonitor International, told the Global Times Thursday, explaining the company has developed in step with the growth of the Chineseeconomy in the past 13 years in China.

Xiao said that foreign brands, including Unilever and P&G, have grabbed most of the market share in the first- and second-tier cities, such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.

"The share of multinational brands is continuously climbing. However, the local brand, though with lower prices, is quite stagnant," echoed Dale Preston, greater China retail measurement services managing director from Nielsen.

Unilever's annual China sales have reached 1 billion euros ($1.46 billion) and annual growth is expected to be at least 15 percent, Alan Jope, Unilever's China president, said in December last year.

Source: Global Times


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