On Friday, the net worth of Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the world’s wealthiest woman, took a significant hit due to the poor performance of L’Oreal shares. The French beauty company is partially owned by the billionaire and her family, and it registered its worst single-day performance since the Great Recession.
Bettencourt Meyers and her family’s fortune fell by $6.9 billion to $91.7 billion on Friday, making her the biggest loser among billionaires that day. Despite the drop, she remains the 15th-richest person on the planet and the richest woman, with a significantly larger fortune than the second-richest woman, Walmart heiress Alice Walton.
The decline in L’Oreal’s stock, which dropped nearly 8% to a three-month low, was sparked by a slowdown in the company’s Asia business, causing the firm’s quarterly sales to fall short of analyst estimates. The company has been struggling with declining sales in recent years due to increased competition from other beauty brands and changing consumer preferences towards natural and organic products.
Friday marked the single worst day for Paris-listed shares of L’Oreal since October 27, 2008, according to FactSet data. The decline in L’Oreal’s stock has had a significant impact on Bettencourt Meyers’ wealth as she owes a significant portion of it to her family’s stake in L’Oreal. She serves as vice chairwoman of the board of directors at L’Oreal and has been instrumental in expanding its business globally through strategic partnerships and acquisitions over several decades.
The decline in L’Oreal’s stock has also affected other investors who hold large stakes in European companies as their market capitalization has reduced significantly due to this setback. However, despite this setback Bettencourt Meyers remains one of France’s most powerful business leaders and continues to influence major decisions at L’Oreal while maintaining her position as one of the world’s richest women.