1St Research Centre To Study Chinese Hair & Skin Group

L’Oréal announced today the opening of a new research facility in China, the Pudong L’Oréal Research Centre, whose main mission will be to conduct and support basic science research to vastly improve present understanding of the structure and behavior of Chinese hair and skin.

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Pudong (September 23, 2005) –L’Oréal announced today the opening of a new research facility in China, the Pudong L’Oréal Research Centre, whose main mission will be to conduct and support basic science research to vastly improve present understanding of the structure and behavior of Chinese hair and skin.

Located in Pudong, on the outskirts of Shanghai, the Research Centre is the first facility of its type operated by a cosmetics company equipped with a world-class team of chemists and physicists to advance the understanding of the unique properties of the hair and skin of Chinese consumers. The research complex of 3,000m² will also house product laboratories with expertise in Asian products and consumer products evaluation centres. L’Oréal will leverage the valuable knowledge that is obtained from the research that is conducted at the Pudong L’Oréal Research Centre to develop innovative and better performing new hair care, skincare and cosmetic products for a growing number of Chinese and Asian consumers worldwide.

“The opening of this Research Centre represents an important turning point for our company and for Asian consumers around the world. The knowledge and insights that we gain through research conducted at the Pudong Research Center will ultimately allow us to develop innovative new products that better service the beauty care needs of the global Asian market,” declared Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, CEO of L’Oréal.

The decision to invest in China is part of a long-term global strategy and commitment to formulate cosmetic products that meet consumer needs the world over, whilst continuing to respect cultural diversity. The Pudong Research Centre will be responsible for developing efficient, high-tolerance products that support L’Oréal’s brand internationalization strategy – adapting brands originating from other parts of the world to the Chinese and Asian consumer needs ; whilst also supporting the internationalization of Chinese origin brands, such as Yue-Sai.

The Pudong facility will initially contain development laboratories focusing on make-up, skincare and haircare. In 2006 the facility will be expanded to house biology laboratories focusing on tissue engineering and chemical laboratories which will concentrate on effectively leveraging botanical raw materials that are inspired by or used in Chinese medicine. By year-end 2006, more than 60 employees will work at the centre, the vast majority of them hired locally.

L’Oréal, which was founded almost 100 years ago by a scientist, has always placed an emphasis on the importance of research. The company invests 3, 4% of its total sales (507 million euros in 2004) in research and development every year - more than one third of this investment is in fundamental research. The company has had strong ties with the scientific community in China since 1996 when the company first started operating in the country and works with prominent universities, hospitals, research institutions and raw material providers.

At L’Oréal, almost 3,000 researchers, 14 research centres (including the new research centre in China) and 13 evaluation centres around the world play their part in developing some 4,000 new formulas for the main cosmetics businesses.

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Mike Rumsby
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