(Stylesight) L'Oreal chief executive Jean-Paul Agon has expressed new optimism in the cosmetics market. Reuters is reporting that at a press conference in Paris organized to celebrate the company's 100th year in business, Agon told reporters that the market had bottomed out and that things would improve over the next few quarters. Agon said growth in the beauty market should be zero or slightly positive this year. He added that the world's largest cosmetic company continues to gain market share and plans to expand further in Central Asia, India and the Middle East, while forging ahead in research and development. Research spending is expected to exceed sales growth.
Agon also revealed several new projects marking the company's 100-year anniversary, including 100 citizen projects based on the three central axes of L'Oreal's corporate philanthropy: education, encouragement of self-esteem and the promotion of scientific research. Examples include a scientific discovery program in 10 underprivileged junior high schools in Indonesia and a project to help 100 visually-impaired people in Indonesia cultivate personal beauty habits and techniques.