New markets push up L'Oreal profits, sales

PARIS (AP) — Cosmetics giant L'Oreal SA says its sales and profits grew last year and emerging markets became its biggest selling region for the first time.

The company, based in Paris, said Monday that it made €2.87 billion ($3.84 billion) in net profit in 2012, up 17 percent from €2.44 billion in 2011.

The owner of brands including Lancome and Maybelline reported sales of €22.5 billion, up from €20.3 billion in 2011 and slightly above the €22.3 billion forecast by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

As Europe suffered an economic slowdown, the company pushed hard into emerging markets and luxury products. It said "new markets," which includes Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, saw more sales than North America or its traditionally core market of western Europe.

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