LOreal posted a 14.1 percent rise in first-quarter sales on Monday, helped by the weak euro and resilient demand for luxury goods products such as Yves Saint Laurents Black Opium perfume.
The maker of Garnier shampoo and Maybelline make-up said the market for mass consumer goods had declined slightly in Western Europe but was still growing moderately in North America.
Sales growth at LOreals mass consumer goods business slowed to 1.7 percent on a like-for-like basis in the three months to March 31, down from 3 percent in the previous quarter, while sales growth for luxury products slowed to 7.5 percent from 8.6 percent.
Overall, the worlds biggest cosmetics group generated quarterly sales of 6.44 billion euros ($6.93 billion), up 4 percent on a like-for-like basis and 5.2 percent at constant exchange rates.
LOreal did not give a precise forecast for the full year other than to express confidence in its ability to outperform the market again and achieve growth in sales and profit.
LOreal shares, which have gained 27 percent since Jan. 1, rose 0.5 percent to close at 177.20 euros.
€1 = $1.07/£0.72
Clothes, Fashion accessories, Jewelry
Vicomte A. is strengthening its international presence. The French brand, founded in 2005 by Arthur de Soultrait, is now offering its polos along with the entirety of its high-end ready-to-wear for men and women in Belgium and Luxembourg.It is notably being carried in the Brussels concept store Smets Premium Store, located on Leuvensesteenweg. The brand, which directly manages nearby markets, has half-dozen high-end locations in both countries.
With a presence at more than 300 retail locations worldwide, it is also expanding internationally. The Japanese and US markets (where the brand has a showroom) are the main contributors to its export business, but it is also expanding into new countries.
It has signed a distribution agreement in Australia and announced its deployment in a premium multibrand network for summer 2015. The initiative is being accompanied by a polo event sponsorship deal that was signed in 2014.
Thanks to the work of a commercial agent, a dozen or so clients are also carrying the brand’s summer 2015 collection in Russia, while the brand is also now present in the concept store Grandezza in Baku, Azerbaijan. Vicomte A. is additionally in talks to open a monobrand location in Moscow.The brand is already present in China through corner stores, but it has just finished up negotiations for an exclusive distribution agreement and the opening of its first store in Taiwan, in Taichung City, scheduled for September. Two openings should follow in 2016 in Taipei and Kaohsiung.
At the beginning of 2014, the brand received investment from CM-CIC Capital Finance and strengthened its management team over the course of the year. It then announced an objective of having international sales making up 40% of revenues in 2018 as compared with 15% in 2013.
Bakery, Grocery, Baked products, Miscellaneous
Shares in Swiss-Irish food group Aryzta fell to their lowest level in 18 months after it announced plans to buy a stake in French food retailer Picard, surprising investors, who had thought the company was keen to exit the frozen foods sector. Aryzta said it had entered into exclusive negotiations to buy a 49 per cent stake in the French brand, which specialises in high-end frozen food, for €447 million from Lion Capital, a private- equity firm based in London. Under the terms of the deal, Aryzta would maintain an option to acquire 100 per cent stake in the business in three to five years.
The acquisition, if it goes ahead, will be funded from the proceeds of its part sale of agribusiness group Origin and the disposal of its Tullamore-based Carroll Cusine, which look set to net Aryzta an estimated €444 million. News of the deal, however, sent shares in the Dublin and Zurich-listed company down. They fell 7.8 per cent or €4.75 to €58 in Dublin and by a similar margin in Zurich, their lowest close since September 2013.
Nonetheless, chief executive Owen Killian insisted the investment in Picard was “consistent with Aryzta’s strategy of consumer relevancy through diversifying markets and channel positioning”.
Picard has delivered consistent revenue, profit and market share growth over 40 years, he added.
The French company sells mostly high-quality French produce through its 930 stores and commands 20 per cent of the country’s frozen food market.
Recently, it has begun to expand internationally, opening stores in Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Japan. The deal would give Aryzta a direct retail presence on the ground for the first time.
The company said it would treat the French group as an associate and that it expected the acquisition to make a net contribution of 3 per cent to underlying earnings per share (EPS), offsetting half of the negative 6 per cent impact of the Origin placement.
Last week, it placed 49 million shares in Origin, some 60 per cent of its stake in the business, on the market, raising more than €404 million. The group will take two seats on the Picard board as part of the deal.
“Other food companies have problems in frozen or are even selling these activities, so the market is a bit irritated by the move,” said Patrik Schwendimann, an analyst at Zuercher Kantonalbank. “The transaction in combination with the Origin sale will reduce earnings per share.”
Vontobel analyst Jean-Philippe Bertschy said: “That move is surprising as Aryzta is expanding in a non- bakery sector and in a saturated market.”
Exclusively made of pure, high quality, essential and vegetable oils,Indemne is an innovative range of dermo-cosmetics 100% natural and made in France.
Offering efficient solutions to sensitive, irritated and atopic skins, Indemne is an alternative to petrochemicals products.
First company of its kind, Indemne reinvents ready to use essential oils and manufactures 8 key products under 5 main ranges
Successfully sold in 70 outlets in France and in 15 countries worldwide, Indemne is now looking for a partnership in Ireland.
The Sales Manager, Thierry Patou, will be in Ireland on the 25th and 26th of March and would love the opportunity to meet with you to introduce his innovative products and discuss business opportunities on the Irish market.
If you are interested, please contact Vimla HUNT: email@example.com
Health, Medical Devices
A French start-up has designed a hand-held spectroscopy device to carry out about fifteen common blood tests. The analyzer will cost less than € 600.
“Our idea is to avoid using reagents to examine the composition of blood,” explains Mejdi Nciri, Archimej Technologys CEO. The start-up, founded with two other engineering graduates of the Institute of Optics Graduate School in Essonne (France), measures the quantity of chemicals checked for in the blood by studying light beamed through it.No less than four patents have been registered on the Spectroscopy 2.0 optical technology. This invention comprises two separate light sources emitting different wavelength light beams, a suitable detector (that collects light beams transmitted through blood samples), a signal processor (that determines wavelength absorption), and a spectral multiplex unit consisting of a bi-concave lens and optical prism.By absorbing the various spectral components of light beams, this device, called Beta-BioLED, can determine the chemical composition of blood samples. The device in the size of a mobile phone, calculates cholesterol and sugar levels, as well as creatinine and albumin levels for renal pathologies and the main cardiac markers. In other words, it can carry out about fifteen of the most common blood tests. This equipment is very easy to use. “All you have to do is put a drop of blood on a test strip inserted into the device. Once the real-time analysis is completed, the results display on a tablet or connected smartphone,” explains Francisco Vega, Archimej Technologys chief financial officer.Archimej Technology is at the heart of France’s Opticsvalley network and has received many trophies and awards: the Altran Foundation Award (2012); the Île-de-France region’s Business Creation Competition (2013); and Essonne Chamber of Commerce and Industrys Hope of the Economy Trophy (2014). Archimej Technology intends to market its hand-held analyzer for less than €600. “Were not competing with conventional analysis laboratories, which carry out up to 80 different tests. Our technology is complementary. It costs €15-20 to do this many blood tests in a laboratory. We expect to offer the same service 20 times cheaper,” says Camille Pat, Archimej Technologys marketing manager. Archimej Technology is initially targeting healthcare professionals working for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in developing countries, which lack medical infrastructures.It plans to extend onto the general public market by using the same business model as glucose monitors sold directly to diabetics. The first version of Beta-BioLED should be on the market by 2016. A big push on R&D is still needed to achieve this. Archimej Technology intends to raise 3 million euros to speed up this development.
Wines, Spirits, Beverages
On Tuesday 20th January 2015, the Aviva Stadium was home to the 8th edition of the French Wine Trade Show, a unique professional event dedicated to French Wines and which has, over the past number of years, become a show of reference for wine professionals in Ireland.
This year the event gathered 20 French companies: 19 wine companies representing all French wine regions (Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Alsace, Rhône, South-West, Languedoc, Loire, Provence, Beaujolais) and one spirit company specialised in Calvados and Armagnac.
With over 100 professional visitors, the event was a true success and all parties present welcomed the return of this Irish wine specialists’ “must attend” event. Among the visitors, 91 importers from 60 Irish importing companies, 9 journalists and the French Ambassador to Ireland were present.
Several distributors have already placed orders for French Wines they tasted at the event and we expect that other ongoing negotiations will result in strong commercial partnerships very quickly.
Business France’s agribusiness team in Ireland looks forward to seeing you next year, for the 9th edition of the French Wine Trade Show!
For more information, please contact Myriam Kajji – firstname.lastname@example.org / 01 411 2118
Decoration, Homeware, Hardware, DIY, Gardening
BUSINESS FRANCE is delighted to introduce you to a French premium flower/plant pots manufacturers. POETIC is a new brand of creative and entry level-range of pots and garden planters. Made in France, the products are eco-designed and of high quality. More information is available on the website of their main group (which has more than 45 years of experience): http://www.bouillard.fr/ The Export Manager will be in Ireland on the 15th and 16th of February on the Hardware Show and would love the opportunity to meet with you, to introduce her innovative products and to discuss business opportunities on the Irish market. If you are interested, please contact Vimla HUNT: email@example.com
UBIFRANCE, the French agency for international business developement, comes under the aegis of France's Ministry for the Economy, Industry & Employment. UBIFRANCE lies at the heart of France's public-sector export support framework.