L’Oreal to lay off 500 U.S. workers

PARIS French beauty company L’Oreal SA is planning to cut 500 jobs in the United States, or 4.7 percent of its U.S. workforce, between now and the middle of 2009, according to published reports.

According to reports, the job cuts are part of its effort to streamline activities and came as little surprise to analysts given the current economic downturn.

“The company is adjusting to a new reality with sales from specialty stores and beauty salon sales in decline,” ING analyst Marco Gulpers, was quoted as saying. Furthermore, slowing travel and hampered perfume sales at duty-free shops and weaker traffic department stores and hurt cosmetic sales, Gulpers noted.

The job cuts are not expected to affect the group’s business in other markets, according to reports.

The news comes several months after the beauty company stated it would close its Sofamo site in Monaco in March 2011 and transfer activities to northern France. The plant makes Helena Rubinstein and Biotherm cosmetic products.

Then in October, the company announced the sale of its Llantrisant site in Wales, which produces shampoo for the U.K. and Western Europe. The company will reportedly shift some production to Western Europe and purchase products from the new owner, Fareva, for the U.K. market.

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