On 26 February 1997, L'ORÉAL'S Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Lindsay OWEN-JONES, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, met to consider the group's estimated Consolidated accounts for 1996.

Sales for the year ended 31 December 1996, which was highlighted by the consolidation of MAYBELLINE (USA), JADE (Germany) and INTERBEAUTY (Israel) for the first time, stood at FF 60.35 billion, an increase of 13.1 % on 1995 published figures and 8 % on a comparable basis.

Group operating profit rosé by 17.5 % to FF 7.36 billion. The contribution of the three main branches is as follows :
Operating profit
(FF millions)
% Growth
Cosmetics FF 5,847 million + 15.7 %
Pharmaceuticals FF 1,524 million +24.8%
FF 55 million N.S.
Profit before taxation, employee profit-sharing and capital gains and losses stood at FF 6.63 billion francs, up 12.7 %. This increase was achieved despite the rise in interest expenses due to acquisitions.

Corporate taxation increased by 14.8 % and the portion paid to minority interests also rosé, reflecting growth in SYNTHÉLABO's earnings. Consequently, net profit before capital gains and losses, after minority interests, which is used to calculate earnings per share, reached FF 3.73 billion, up 10.3%.

The estimated accounts will now be reviewed by the Board of Directors and the Statutory Auditors and will be given final approval on 22 April 1997.