L’Oreal SA (OR), the world’s largest cosmetics maker, aims to double sales in Brazil by 2015 and add 50 million new customers there in the next decade as Latin America’s largest economy expands.
“We are still very much in opportunity territory,” said Alexandre Popoff, head of Paris-based L’Oreal’s business in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, in an interview. “The big part of the growth will be coming from mass-market products.”
The company may also buy a Brazilian brand to expand in the country, where consumers spend more per capita on cosmetics than in any other so-called BRIC nation. L’Oreal plans to use its 1.5 billion-euro ($2.1 billion) cash pile to make acquisitions, Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Agon said last month.
Agon has said “he would like to have in his portfolio a Brazilian brand and an Indian brand,” Popoff said, declining further comment on the matter.
L’Oreal’s Brazilian sales climbed 21 percent to 705 million euros in 2010, making it the company’s seventh-largest country, Popoff said. As much as 70 percent of its sales there last year came from mass-market products like Total Repair 5 shampoo and Colorama nail varnish.Brazil is tied with China as the world’s third-largest country for cosmetics overall after the U.S. and Japan, according to L’Oreal.