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L’Oreal Korea, marking 30th anniversary, bets big on K-beauty

Sept. 1, 2023 - 16:11 By Shim Woo-hyun
Fabrice Megarbane, L’Oreal’s North Asia president and China CEO, speaks at a press conference at the Korean unit’s headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (L'Oreal Korea)

L’Oreal Korea, making its 30th anniversary this year, said Friday it would boost collaboration with South Korean partners to ride the K-beauty boom around the world.

“Korea has a very strategic and strong role to play within the ecosystem of the North Asia Beauty Triangle,” Fabrice Megarbane, president of the company’s North Asia Zone and CEO of L’Oreal China, during a press conference at the Korean unit’s headquarters in southern Seoul.

The North Asia Beauty Triangle is the company’s business region, including South Korea, China and Japan. In terms of revenue, the region is responsible for about 30 percent of the group’s annual sales.

“(South Korea) has a strong beauty ecosystem powered by some of the world's largest ODMs and the rich innovation ecosystem of biotechnology and beauty tech. With this setup, we have the right ingredients to influence and inspire our beauty and innovation here in Korea, in North Asia, and the world,” Megarbane said.

His comments come after the company signed a series of agreements with local partners in recent months.

The company recently forged a partnership with GS Caltex, an energy firm affiliated with GS Group, to jointly develop bio-based cosmetics ingredients. With Kakao Healthcare and CutisBio, it agreed to develop beauty solutions.

“We hope that we will expand our ‘Ko-creation’ with a 'K' through Korea, bringing K-inspired products to the world, bringing Korean research and innovation expertise to the world, and supporting open innovation partnerships go global,” said Samuel du Retail, L'Oreal’s Korea chief.

Retail added that L'Oreal Korea will continue to develop K-beauty products that will appeal to customers across the world. “We will not only bring the best of L'Oreal to Korea, but also we want to bring the best of Korea to the world,” he said.

After enjoying its best year in sales last year, the country chief also offered a positive outlook for this year. But he declined to reveal the exact sales figures. According to industry estimates, L’Oreal Korea is believed to have made around 410 billion won ($311 million) in sales in 2022.

In 2018, L’Oreal acquired a 100 percent stake in 3CE Stylenanda, a Korean cosmetics and fashion company, in an estimated 600 billion won deal.