Parisian cosmetics manufacturer L’Oréal has reported a 9.4% rise in the first quarter sales of 2012 to €5.64bncompared to €5.16bn in the same period last year.

The sales growth has been driven by encouraging sales in emerging markets and a recovery in the US that compensated weak growth in Western Europe, the firm stated.

L’Oréal’s traditional core market of Western Europe sales was hit by the economic slowdown along with Europe’s debt crisis.

L’Oréal Group, which also has major brands such as The Body Shop, Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics, said that it noted rises in sales in all of its divisions and regions, with Asia witnessing highest growth rate of 22.6%.

The company said the sales in the new markets rounded off to €2.09bn, reporting a 14.1% increase, while Western Europe increased 2.3% to €1.95bn.

L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon was quoted by Reuters as saying that the first three months have reinforced the firm’s confidence in the ability to outperform the market in 2012.

"These first months augur well for the year, as all divisions and all geographic zones are expanding. The worldwide cosmetics market remains strong, and trends are favorable for all brands," said Agon.