Why Has Estee Lauder’s Revenue Grown 3x More Than That Of L’Oreal Over The Past 5 Years?

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Estee Lauder (NYSE: EL) and L’Oreal (EPA: OR) are two of the major cosmetic manufacturers, with a global presence, and a range of brands spanning across hair care, makeup, and skin care. L’Oreal is the largest cosmetics company in the world, with a range of over 30 global brands, selling products catering to people across all income levels. Estee Lauder, on the other hand, offers more premium products, and is more focused on makeup and skin care, with fragrances and hair care making up less than 20% of their business.

In this dashboard, Estee Lauder vs L’Oreal: How Have Revenues For The Two Cosmetic Giants Trended Over Recent Years?, we look at how revenues have trended for both companies over the last 5 years.

How have total revenues for L’Oreal and Estee Lauder trended over recent years?

  • Between 2014 and 2018, L’Oreal’s revenue has grown from $28.67 billion to $30.95 billion, a growth of 7.95%.
  • In comparison, Estee Lauder’s revenue has grown from $10.97 billion to $13.69 billion, a 24.8% rise.
  • This vast difference in growth is due to the more premium product line offered by Estee Lauder, which sells at much higher prices on average, in addition to a number of smart acquisitions made by Estee Lauder, primarily in the skin care and makeup segments.
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How have skin care revenues trended for both companies?

You can read more on the trend in skin care revenues for L’Oreal and Estee Lauder in our Trefis interactive dashboard.

A look at the trend in Makeup revenues for both companies

  • L’Oreal’s makeup segment has grown close to 38% between 2014 and 2018, going from $6.16 billion to $8.48 billion in revenue.
  • Estee Lauder wasn’t far behind, with revenue rising from $4.21 billion in 2014 to $5.63 billion in 2018, a 34% increase.
  • L’Oreal has been a market leader in the makeup segment for many years now, but Estee Lauder has been growing at a decent pace, driven by its multiple premium makeup brands such as Too Faced, Tom Ford Beauty, and Becca.

A look at how fragrance revenue has changed for both companies

  • L’Oreal’s fragrance revenue has remained more or less stagnant over the last 5 years, going from $4.11 billion in 2014 to $4.24 billion in 2018.
  • In comparison, Estee Lauder’s fragrance segment has grown 28% over the same period, from $1.43 billion to $1.83 billion.
  • However, with L’Oreal’s larger global presence, its fragrance revenue is about 2.3x that of Estee Lauder’s.

How have gross profits and gross margins trended for the two companies?

  • L’Oreal’s gross profits are more than double that of Estee Lauder’s, standing at $22.53 billion, versus $10.84 billion for the latter, for FY ’18.
  • However, Estee Lauder’s gross margins stand at around 79.2%, against the 72.8% for L’Oreal for the most recent year.
  • This is due to the higher average selling price for Estee Lauder’s premium range of products.


  • Estee Lauder has grown 3x more than L’Oreal has over the past 5 years, with revenue growth of almost 25%, as compared to around 8% for L’Oreal.
  • It’s important to note that L’Oreal is almost 2.3x bigger than Estee Lauder (as of 2018), in terms of revenue, and already has a much more established presence worldwide.
  • Even then, the difference in growth is pretty impressive, and can be mainly attributed to Estee Lauder’s fast expansion into emerging markets, and higher average selling prices across its vast range of premium products.


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