Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the world’s wealthiest woman, has seen an increase in her net worth, soaring from $80.5 billion at the beginning of the year to an impressive $92.1 billion.
According to Forbes data, this surge of $11.6 billion is attributed to the stellar performance of her global beauty brand, L’Oreal Paris.
The stock price of L’Oreal has experienced a year-to-date increase of 27.08%, with a notable 11% rise in the past few months.
L’Oreal’s positive financial performance is based on a robust upswing in third-quarter sales, driven by growth in Europe and a surge in the United States.
However, the anticipated rebound in China fell short, with a 4.8% dip in sales in North Asia, missing the expected 14.4% increase.
The decline in North Asia sales was attributed to heightened Chinese government control over resellers, known as daigou, affecting L’Oreal’s travel retail business, particularly in Hainan and South Korea.
These resellers traditionally acquired inventory at lower prices in one location and resold them at a discount elsewhere.
In mainland China, L’Oreal reported a 7.7% sales growth over the initial nine months, maintaining market share amid a “broadly stable” beauty market and a “muted recovery.”
Despite challenges like high youth unemployment and a property crisis in China, L’Oreal remains “ambitious” for the country.
Hieronimus outlined plans to expand labels like Lancome into lower-tier cities in the coming year.
L’Oreal, a significant player in China’s $78.9 billion beauty and personal care market, continues to gain market share.
Its luxury division leads the high-end cosmetics sector with renowned brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Prada.
In Europe and North America, L’Oreal exceeded expectations for the third quarter, with growth rates of 16.2% and 11.8%, respectively, indicating an acceleration in North America.
Despite inflation affecting household spending in Europe, L’Oreal reported no discernible shift to lower-priced products or reduced purchasing.
Globally, L’Oreal’s luxury division, its largest, experienced a slower growth rate of 3.2%, aligning with a trend of consumers scaling back on high-end purchases.
This trend resonates with the recent slowdown in perfumes and cosmetics reported by luxury benchmark LVMH.
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, granddaughter of L’Oreal’s founder, and her family own approximately 33% of L’Oreal’s stock.
Since 1997, she has served on L’Oreal’s board and holds the position of chairwoman within the family holding company.
Her ascent as France’s primary L’Oreal heiress occurred in 2017, succeeding her mother Liliane Bettencourt, who held the title of the world’s wealthiest woman until her passing at the age of 94.
Beyond her corporate roles, Bettencourt Meyers also serves as the president of her family’s philanthropic foundation, dedicated to advancing French achievements in the sciences and arts.