PARIS, April 18 (Reuters) - French cosmetics company L'Oreal reported a slightly higher-than-expected 4.2 percent rise in like-for-like first-quarter sales on Tuesday, helped by thriving demand for its luxury products in Asia.
The maker of Garnier shampoo and Maybelline make-up said sales in its consumer products division rose 1.4 percent on a like-for like basis, while revenues in its professional unit fell 1.8 percent.
In its luxury division, meanwhile, which houses brands such as Lancome and Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics, like-for-like sales were up 12.2 percent.
"We are confident in our ability to achieve another year of sales and profit growth in 2017," Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Agon said in a statement.
Analysts had expected like-for-like sales across the group to rise 3.9 percent, according to forecasts compiled for Reuters by Inquiry Financial. L'Oreal's reported sales were up 7.5 percent at 7.04 billion euros ($7.5 billion), also slightly above analyst forecasts. ($1 = 0.9344 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White and Pascale Denis, Editing by Bate Felix)