L'Oreal has attributed strong sales in 2000 to the performance of star products including the Fructis range, Full n'Soft mascara by Maybelline and new fragrances from Ralph Lauren and Lançôme. And it says new acquisitions and alliances such as the purchase of the US Carson brand and the strategic alliance with Japanese make-up brand Shu Uemura will boost growth potential in the future. Chairman and CEO Lindsay Owen-Jones said: "L'Oréal achieved an absolute record in terms of profit growth, the highest for almost 20 years." Sales in the year to December 31 rose 17.9% to 12.7 billion euros (£7.9bn). And profit was up 21.7% euros to 1.5bn euros (£966m). {{NEWS }}