L'Oreal blames slow third-quarter revenue growth on drop in Western Europe cosmetics sales

Cosmetics giant L'Oreal SA says its sales in the third quarter suffered from what it says was a temporary weakness in its consumer products division in Western Europe.

The world's largest cosmetics maker by sales reported Monday a 2.3 percent rise in revenue for the July to September period to 5.2 billion euros ($6.5 billion).

Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon blamed "an air pocket" for the drop in Western European consumer product sales, which include Maybelline makeup and Garnier shampoo.

L'Oreal forecast faster growth in the fourth quarter thanks to improving sales in the U.S. and continued growth in emerging markets.

In July, L'Oreal completed the buy-back of an 8 percent stake in the company held by Switzerland's Nestle, which will boost earnings this year.