L'Oreal Q1 sales slightly beat forecasts

PARIS, April 18 Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:02pm EDT

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PARIS, April 18 (Reuters) - L'Oreal reported slightly higher than expected first-quarter sales, driven by solid demand for its mass market and luxury products in North America, China and the Gulf states.

The world's biggest cosmetics group generated revenue of 5.93 billion euros ($7.76 billion)in the three months to March 31, up 5.5 percent on a like-for-like basis, above analysts' expectations of 5.2 percent sales growth.

For 2013, the maker of Garnier shampoo, Biotherm and Lancome creams and Yves Saint Laurent perfume reiterated its target to outperform the market and increase both sales and profits.

By comparison, rivals such as LVMH's cosmetics and perfume division which makes Dior and Guerlain perfumes, saw like-for-like revenue rise 5 percent during the period. ($1 = 0.7644 euros) (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Lionel Laurent)

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