The L'Oréal Group has decided to reorganise its subsidiaries in two major central European countries - Poland and Hungary - and on 1 January 2000 grouped all of its activities there. The Group's perfume, skincare and make-up brands sold through selective outlets (Lancôme, Helena Rubinstein, Biotherm, Cacharel, Armani, Vichy etc), and previously handled by local agents, will henceforth be directly attached to L'Oréal subsidiaries.
This operation aims to create a synergy that is conducive to the rapid development of the Group's luxury brands; it will confirm the strong market positions already held by Lancôme and will help establish brands that have been introduced more recently - and very successfully - such as Helena Rubinstein, Biotherm and Armani.
L'Oréal's subsidiaries in Poland and Hungary, founded in 1992 and 1994, have to date concentrated their local development on the mass-market (shampoos, skincare, make-up and hair colouring) as well as professional haircare products. In 1999, their sales made good progress with growth in Poland estimated at 18% and in Hungary at 22%.
The L'Oréal Group has seven subsidiaries in central and eastern Europe, and employs more than 1,500 people in Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Slovenia. The Group's industrial facility, situated near Warsaw in Poland, produces most of the shampoos, hair colouring products and mass-market skincare lines sold in this region of the world.