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EARNINGS

L’Oreal sees profits surge

L'Oreal, the world's largest cosmetics maker, said on Tuesday its first half net profit rose 11.6 percent from a year earlier to €1.47 billion ($2.11 billion) and confirmed its forecasts for 2011.

L'Oreal sees profits surge
Daniel Oines

“We reaffirm our ambition for 2011 to outperform the market and to improve group profitability,” chief executive Jean-Paul Agon said in a statement.  

He said earnings improved despite the rise in raw material costs.  

Operating profit in the six months to June was €1.70 billion, with operating margins at 16.8 percent, down from 17.3 percent in the same period last year due to increased investment and advertising costs.  

Sales were up 5.0 percent to €10.15 billion.  

The group said it had reinforced its position around the world, including North America, Latin America and Asia.

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MODEL

L’Oreal drops trans model over controversial comments

French cosmetics giant L'Oreal on Friday confirmed it had dropped a British transgender model over comments the company deemed "at odds with our values," after she was hired as part of a diversity campaign.

L'Oreal drops trans model over controversial comments
File photo: AFP

“L'Oreal champions diversity,” the beauty brand said on Twitter. “Comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with our values and so we have decided to end our partnership with her”.

L'Oreal had tapped Bergdorf — a 29-year-old model, DJ and trans activist whose father is Jamaican — as one of the five newest faces of its #allworthit campaign to introduce the five new shades of its True Match face makeup.

The foundation make-up boasts 28 unique shades ranging from very light to dark brown in a bid to match the myriad different skin tones and textures of people worldwide.

According to British Vogue, Bergdorf was the first transgender woman to be featured in a L'Oreal Paris UK campaign.

But controversy erupted when Bergdorf took to Facebook in a now-deleted post to react to events in the US city of Charlottesville, where a woman was killed on August 12th after an avowed white supremacist rammed his car into a group of anti-racism counter-protesters.

“Honestly I don't have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people,” Bergdorf wrote, according to copies posted in British media.

“Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk,” the model reportedly wrote.

L'Oreal told British media it “remains committed to celebrating diversity and breaking down barriers in beauty”.

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