L'Oreal posts 7.7 pct rise in H1 operating profit

PARIS Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:08pm EDT

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PARIS Aug 29 (Reuters) - French cosmetics giant L'Oreal on Thursday posted improved margins and a nearly 8 percent rise in first-half operating profit in spite of slightly weaker demand from major markets such as the United States.

The maker of Armani perfume and Lancome creams had earnings before interest and tax of 2.04 billion euros ($2.70 billion), roughly in line with the average estimate of 2.05 billion in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll.

The first-half operating margin at the group's mass market consumer products division reached 20.8 percent, up from 19.9 percent a year ago, and the margin at its luxury products unit stood at 20 percent, up from 19.5 percent. ($1 = 0.7562 euros) (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by James Regan)

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