U.S. Ranks Number One Among Eighty Countries Taking Part in L'Oreal e-Strat Student Competition

Students from 87 U.S. colleges and universities are selected to play

in global business challenge

Jan 28, 2003, 00:00 ET from L'Oreal

    NEW YORK, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Now in its third year, L'Oreal's e-Strat
 challenge, has become one of the most popular on-campus events -- anticipated
 by college and university students around the world.  The "Challenge" as it is
 called by those familiar with this online game, began play on January 13th,
 2003, following almost two months of registration that saw over 17,000
 students from 80 countries and campuses as far away as Kyrgystan and as close
 as New York, sign up to compete.
     (Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20021025/ESTRATLOGO )
     This year the U.S. was among the top countries leading the way in total
 number of teams registered and ranked number one in number of teams chosen to
 compete.  Eighty-seven U.S. teams are currently engaged in the competition
 from such prestigious business and undergraduate colleges and universities as:
      -- Kellogg 12 teams
      -- Stern 7 Teams
      -- Haas 4 Teams
      -- Chicago 4 Teams
      -- Harvard 2 Teams
      -- Wharton 2 Teams
      -- University of Pennsylvania 2 Teams
      -- Northwestern 2 Teams
      -- Carnegie Mellon 1 Team
     L'Oreal's e-Strat is an annual business competition that allows students
 to put the theories they are learning in the classroom into actual
 application, through a realistic online simulation that places them in control
 of a global cosmetic business where managerial skills, the ability to make
 critical decisions, strategic thinking and leadership potential are all put to
 the test, during six rounds of competition over the course of eight weeks.
     Each team, comprised of three students, does not compete directly against
 each other, but rather against four virtual cosmetic companies vying for
 market share.  For the first time this year, winning teams from each of the
 5 geographic zones will be invited to L'Oreal's Paris headquarters, to present
 their strategy and business plan before a distinguished panel of judges who
 will then select the overall winners.
     Three teams will emerge as the international winners and another 9 teams
 will receive special recognition in the final round of competition, which
 takes place on April 22nd.
     For updates on team standings and other information on the competition log
 on to www.e-strat.loreal.com
     About L'Oreal
     L'Oreal is the world's number one cosmetics company, present in
 140 countries with a turnover in 2001 of euro 13.7 billion.  The company
 recorded its 17th consecutive year of double-digit growth in 2001, increasing
 its profits by 19.6%.  Half Year Results for 2002 saw the group achieve a 29%
 increase in profits.
     L'Oreal's brand portfolio includes: L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline, Garnier,
 Soft Sheen Carson, Matrix, Redken, L'Oreal Professionnel, Vichy,
 La Roche-Posay, Lancome, Helena Rubinstein, Biotherm, Kiehl's, Shu Uemura and
 Armani, Cacharel and Ralph Lauren fragrances.  L'Oreal is the only cosmetics
 group that is present in every distribution channel: mass market, hair salons,
 department stores, pharmacy and mail order.
     With 47 factories worldwide, 88 distribution centers and 14,500 employees
 in manufacturing sites and over 3.4 billion units produced, the industrial
 organization of L'Oreal is a major contributor to the group's growth.
 Ninety-four percent of products sold by L'Oreal are made in the group's
 factories by group employees.