July 27, 2018 / 7:21 AM / in a year

Shares L'Oreal fall as mass market cosmetics arm stays sluggish

PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) - Shares in French cosmetics group L’Oreal fell over 3 percent at the market open on Friday after the maker of Garnier shampoo and Maybelline make-up posted a sluggish performance in its mass market division in the first half of the year.

The company has been buoyed in recent quarters by stellar growth in its luxury arm, which includes brands like Lancome, and other divisions such as its active cosmetics division, which makes treatments for sensitive skin for instance.

But it had struggled to kickstart sales at its mass market unit.

Like-for-like sales growth slowed to 2.3 percent in the April to June period from 2.6 percent in the first, L’Oreal reported on Thursday evening - weaker than analysts’ forecasts for a slight improvement.

Overall, the company’s operating income grew 1.8 percent from a year ago to 2.58 billion euros ($3 billion) in the first half of the year, in line with forecasts.

L’Oreal was holding a conference call with analysts on Friday morning. (Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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