Oriflame advance slowed

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The Independent Online
ADVERSE currency movements hampered progress at Oriflame International, the cosmetics company that sells door to door, writes Robert Cole.

Profits before tax rose by 29 per cent to pounds 5.4m for the six months to 30 September. Without the currency swings, profits could have advanced another 10 per cent. Turnover increased by 11 per cent to pounds 40.9m. But sales would have been pounds 1m higher if currencies are ignored, Robert af Jochnick, chairman, said.

Although Oriflame shares are quoted in London and the company has its manufacturing base in Dublin, it is managed from Sweden. It employs 800 people full time and has another 70,000 sales agents working on commission only. Across the group, the number of agents grew by 32 per cent in the half-year.

Oriflame operates in 40 countries and is concentrating expansion efforts in emerging markets, particularly South America and the former Communist bloc countries of Eastern Europe.

The shares, subject of a buy recommendation in the Independent in June at 226p, rose another 13p yesterday to 315p. Earnings per share climbed to 8.4p from 6.8p, and the dividend is up to 4.3p from 4p.

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