February 21, 2020 / 3:00 PM / a month ago

L'Oreal's online sales of make-up rose in China in February: CEO

The logo of French cosmetics group L'Oreal in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, February 7, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - Online sales of L’Oreal (OREP.PA) make-up and skincare products had picked up in China in February and were even stronger than a year earlier, Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon said on Friday.

China is the Maybelline and Lancome maker’s single-biggest market, and like rivals in the luxury goods industry, L’Oreal is bracing for a hit on demand due to the coronavirus health crisis as shops shut down and Chinese customers face travel bans.

L’Oreal has so far offset some lost business through e-commerce sales, Agon said, adding that platforms like Alibaba (BABA.N) and JD.com (JD.O) appeared to be “finding solutions” to counter delivery problems in some parts of China.

“Even in February (online) sales were really good,” Agon said at the CAGNY consumer analyst conference in Florida. “Sales of beauty products on e-commerce sites are stronger than last year.”

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by GV De Clercq

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