UPDATE 1-L'Oreal shares rise after cosmetics group posts sales rebound

(Adds detail and more analyst comment)

PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – L’Oreal’s shares rose on Friday after the world’s biggest cosmetics group reported higher-than-expected revenue growth for the fourth quarter.

L’Oreal’s shares were up 1.4% in early session trading, among the best stocks on France’s benchmark CAC-40 index .

The French group reported late on Thursday that sales reached 7.88 billion euros ($9.5 billion) in the October to December period, flat from last year on a reported basis but up by 4.8% on a like-for-like basis, excluding currency effects and acquisitions, with the numbers beating forecasts.

“L’Oréal’s industry outperformance demonstrates the power of its well diversified and high-quality brand portfolio,” wrote investment bank Jefferies, which kept a “hold” rating on the stock.

Brokerage Berenberg also kept a “hold” rating, saying L’Oreal’s robust performance in China had offset weaker performances at its north American and western Europe units.

L’Oreal painted a similar picture to its rival Estee Lauder , with the French company saying sales in China in particular had been “spectacular”, echoing rebounding demand noted by fashion groups such as Louis Vuitton owner LVMH after lockdown restrictions in China were eased.

Earlier this month, Estee Lauder reported a surprise rise in quarterly sales and handily beat profit estimates on strong demand for premium skin-care products and fragrances in China, lifting its shares to a record high.

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