L'Oreal in search of an ayurvedic skin-care brand

Mumbai: French cosmetics giant L'Oreal SA, which reported a 22nd consecutive annual rise in operating profit last year, helped by its acquisition of Britain's Body Shop, is planning to acquire an ayurvedic skin-care brand to bring the Indian vision of beauty to the world.

"We would be interested in buying an ayurvedic brand to bring the Indian vision of beauty to the world," the Wall Street Journal quoted chief executive Jean-Paul Agon as saying.

The next three to five years would be a period of major growth for the French firm in India, he added.

The company, which is f acing a sluggish market for its cosmetic brands in Europe and the US, has been reinventing growth in markets such as India, China, Brazil and Mexico in the past few years.

He said L'Oreal's strategy would be to use its new Indian purchase as a launching pad to introduce ayurvedic products all over the world.

"We would be interested in buying an ayurvedic brand to tap the increasing consumer appetite for exotic beauty products," he said, adding that the company is exploring a wide range of options and hasn't yet identified the brand it would like to buy.

The new Indian acquisition will be small - make up a little over 5 per cent of future sales growth in India. But, he said, that would give L'Oreal expertise in ayurvedic medicine.

L'Oreal is finding global synergy by tacking local brands onto its global beauty portfolio as it emerges one of the world's biggest cosmetics companies.