August 29, 2013 / 4:12 PM / 4 years ago

L'Oreal posts 7.7 percent rise in first-half operating profit

A tourist walks past the entrance of Cosmetics company L'Oreal building in Paris, August 16, 2013.Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - French cosmetics giant L'Oreal (OREP.PA) on Thursday posted improved margins and a nearly 8 percent rise in first-half operating profit in spite of slightly weaker demand from major markets such as the United States.

The maker of Armani perfume and Lancome creams had earnings before interest and tax of 2.04 billion euros ($2.70 billion), roughly in line with the average estimate of 2.05 billion in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll.

The first-half operating margin at the group's mass market consumer products division reached 20.8 percent, up from 19.9 percent a year ago, and the margin at its luxury products unit stood at 20 percent, up from 19.5 percent.

($1 = 0.7562 euros)

Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by James Regan

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