Net profits for French cosmetics and beauty major L’Oréal €2.87bn for the full year 2012, representing a 17.6% increase when compared to €2.43bn during 2011.

The company’s net sales increased 6.2% to €22.46bn while operating profit increased to €3.69bn.

L’Oréal Paris chairman and chief executive officer Jean-Paul Agon said in 2012 the group achieved strong sales growth, and demonstrated its ability to outperform the beauty market.

"2012 was also a very good vintage in terms of innovations – amongst the most remarkable in the industry – in each of our Divisions and major business segments.

"2012 also marked a milestone in the acceleration of the Group’s internationalisation, as the "New Markets" became the number one geographic zone. Lastly, the profits and cash flow have grown very strongly, reaching record levels, and confirming the power of our business model," added Agon.

North American sales totaled €5.2bn for the year with European sales at €7,4bn.

In the Asia-Pacific region, L’Oréal’s sales climbed 9.6% on a like-for-like basis while the same in Latin American sales grew by 10.4%.

The African and Middle East region returned the highest like-for-like sales figures at 14.7%.

Sales for The Body Shop sales grew by 4.9% like-for-like on a like-for-like basis during the year, totaling €855.3.

Galderma, a joint venture in dermatology between L’Oréal and Nestlé, posted a sales increase of 5.9% on a like-for-like basis.

L’Oreal recently launched the largest hair colourant product factory in the world in Mexico as well as the largest cosmetics factory in Indonesia to meet the rapidly growing demand from the beauty market in south-east Asia.

The company offers products for hair care, hair colouring, skin care, sun protection, make-up and perfumes.