The world's largest cosmetics company, L'Oréal, announced on Monday that it predicts a year-over-year decrease of around 5% in its first-quarter sales due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The conglomerate also withdrew its annual financial guidance.
"The lack of visibility on the timing of an end to this health crisis leads us to suspend our guidance," explained L'Oréal in a release.
"The group will provide more information when it publishes its first-quarter sales on 16 April 2020 and notes that sales over that period should evolve around -5% compared to last year," the company continued.
L'Oréal explained that the spread of the pandemic around the world and the measures being taken by different countries in terms of store closures and social distancing "will have a higher impact than initially forecast on the consumption of cosmetics and beauty products, and therefore on our business in the coming months."
The group did, however, point out that it is "currently seeing encouraging signs of recovery in Chinese consumption."
In this context, L'Oréal's board of directors has also decided to postpone its annual general meeting, which was initially scheduled for 21 April, until 30 June 2020. According to the company, it "will in due course determine the arrangements to be made for the holding of the meeting, as well as for the dividend and its date of payment."