A logo is seen over the entrance of Cosmetics company L'Oreal building in Paris, August 16, 2013. L'Oreal SA has offered to buy Chinese facial mask maker Magic Holdings International Ltd, a move that would put the world's largest cosmetics group in the lead of the fastest growing sector in China's $15 billion skincare market.   REUTERS/Christian Hartmann (FRANCE - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTX12NGG

A logo is seen over the entrance of Cosmetics company L'Oreal building in Paris, August 16, 2013. L'Oreal SA has offered to buy Chinese facial mask maker Magic Holdings International Ltd, a move that would put the world's largest cosmetics group in ... the lead of the fastest growing sector in China's $15 billion skincare market. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann (FRANCE - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTX12NGG (Reuters)

L'Oreal Confident for 2014 Despite Sales Drop

By Features Dow Jones Newswires

PARIS--L'Oreal (OR) said Monday its sales and profits will grow this year despite a drop in revenue at the start of the year, impaired by weak currencies in key markets where it sells its products.

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The French cosmetics company's revenue dropped 2.2% on year to 5.64 billion euros ($7.83 billion) in the first quarter. L'Oreal said currency moves overall took 5% off reported sales.

Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon noted the economic context is still marked by "uncertainties," particularly on the monetary front. Still, he remained upbeat.

"The start of this year confirms our confidence in our ability to outperform the market once again in 2014 and to achieve another year of sales and profit growth," Mr. Agon said in a statement.

On a like-for-like basis, which strips out the impact of currencies and changes in the structure of the company, sales would have risen 3.5% in the first quarter, the company said.

Sales in Latin America, where currencies have weakened against the euro, dropped by 10%. But on a like-for-like basis, revenues were up 8.2%, L'Oreal said.