July 30, 2020 / 4:47 PM / 9 days ago

L'Oreal sales falter, margins hold up amid lockdowns

FILE PHOTO: A cosmetic display of French cosmetics group L'Oreal at the Nice International Airport, in Nice, France, October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) - Revenue at Maybelline maker L’Oreal (OREP.PA) fell sharply in the second quarter even as online sales surged during lockdowns to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, though the French beauty group managed to contain any major erosion of profit margins.

The group said on Thursday revenues came in at 5.85 billion euros ($6.90 billion) in April-June, down 18.8% on a like-for-like basis, which strips out currency effects and acquisitions.

Some analysts had expected a less severe drop.

Operating margins stood at 18% at the end of the first half of the year, only slightly down from 18.6% at the end of 2019.

Reporting by Sarah White and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Mark Potter

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