I AM VERY CONFIDENT AT A TIME THAT I ENTRUST TO NICOLAS HIERONIMUS THE TASK OF WRITING THE NEXT CHAPTER OF THE GREAT HISTORY OF L’ORÉAL.
President of L’Oréal (1)
Given the exceptional context related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Annual General Meeting of L’Oréal was held on 20 April behind closed doors, without the physical presence of the shareholders and any other person having the right to attend the meeting. Meeting after the Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors decided, on the recommendation of the Nominations and Governance Committee, and in accordance with the announcements made on 14 October 2020, to dissociate the functions of Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer
Jean-Paul Agon will continue to fulfil the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors as he has done since 2011 and Nicolas Hieronimus is appointed Chief Executive Officer as of 1 May 2021.
This Annual General Meeting is very special to my mind as it is the last time that I will be addressing you as Chief Executive Officer of your company. That is why I would like to take this unique opportunity to outline the road that we have travelled together over these past 15 years.
In terms of its business, the Group is far better balanced. The centre of gravity of L’Oréal in terms of its geography has shifted to the new markets, that represent almost half our sales, in particular Asia Pacific that has become the number one geography. L’Oréal is better equipped in terms of businesses and channels. Today, skincare, the biggest and most dynamic market category, has become our first Division. In terms of channels, the weight of our two largest Divisions – Consumer Products and L’Oréal Luxe – are almost identical and Active Cosmetics almost on a par with Professional Products. We have considerably enriched our brand portfolio with some 30 acquisitions. Lastly, L’Oréal has also changed scope in the financial and economic sense. Over the last 15 years, sales almost doubled. Profitability grew continuously and steadily going from 15.6% to 18.6% of sales and net profit was multiplied by 2.5, coming in at over 4 billion euros. The share price has leapt by over +350% and the market cap, which has quadrupled, is close to 200 billion. Your company has entered the very select club of the 50 leading global companies.
If we have obtained such results, it is because we began by defining a mobilising strategic project for L’Oréal with a new mission, beauty for all, a new self-renewed ambition, attract one billion new consumers, a new strategy, universalisation – that’s to say, globalisation showing respect for differences – and lastly, a new purpose: create the beauty that moves the world.
If your company has constantly strengthened its global leadership, it is also because we conducted in-depth transformations: the digital and e-commerce revolution, the responsibility and sustainability revolution and lastly the managerial revolution to change the way we work. Such transformations and reinventions made L’Oréal stronger, better equipped than ever to win, and make us very confident in the future.
I am very confident at a time that I entrust to Nicolas Hieronimus the task of writing the next chapter of the great history of L’Oréal.”
(1) Since 1 May 2021