PARIS - L'Oreal (IW 1000/140), the world's top cosmetics company, said Thursday its net profit soared by two-thirds last year to 4.91 billion euros ($5.59 billion) thanks to the sale of a unit.
Without the sale of its stake in the Galderma dermatological treatment unit to Nestle that added 2.1 billion, L'Oreal's net profit would have come in with a 3.1% gain to 3.12 billion euros, the company said in a statement.
"Despite adverse currency effects, operating margin increased once again in 2014 highlighting the strength of our business model," chief executive Jean-Paul Agon said in a statement.
Operating profit came in at 3.89 billion euros on sales that totalled 22.53 billion euros, a gain of 1.8% if Galderma is excluded from 2013 figures.
That resulted in an operating margin of 17.3 percent, an increase from the previous year.
Adverse currency effects had a negative 2.3% impact on sales.
Among emerging markets, the Asia-Pacific region saw a 4.1% increase to 4.56 billion euros, but sales fell in both eastern Europe and Latin America.
Sales climbed by 3.1% to 7.70 billion euros in Western Europe, but only edged up 0.6% in North America.
Agon said L'Oreal intends to outperform the cosmetics market in 2015.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015