French beauty giant L'Oréal sees a drop in consolidated sales for the first half of 2003 to €7.14bn, reflecting a drop of 3.2 per cent.
Currency fluctuations had a negative impact of 10.5 per cent up to end-June 2003, dropping from 11.7 per cent for the first quarter of 2003.
But like-for-like sales for the first half rose by 7.1 per cent despite worsening global economic conditions, "a sharp decline in air travel and the SARS epidemic", said the company.
Sales for Cosmetic branch of the company dropped by 3 per cent based on consolidated figures and rose 9.8 per cent for the Dermatology branch.
In a statement today L'Oreal remained optimistic that the impact of currency fluctuations - particularly strong in the first six months - should gradually reduce over the coming months, keeping it on course for annual objectives.
"L'Oreal should be able to achieve its traditional objective of like-for-like sales growth of between 7 per and 9 per cent per annum. The group is maintaining its target for the year of double-digit growth in net profit before exceptionals," said Lindsay Owen-Jones, chairman and CEO of L'Oreal.