By  on May 3, 2007

NEW YORK — The Estée Lauder Cos. saw sales gain 7 percent in the quarter, as international markets helped offset weakness in the U.S. Bolstered by travel retail and Europe, net sales for the third quarter ended March 31, rose 7.1 percent, to $1.69 billion, from $1.58 billion in the prior year period. Net earnings from continuing operations gained 48.4 percent to $93.8 million, or 45 cents a diluted share, from $63.2 million, or 29 cents, in the year-earlier period, which had included a charge of $51.6 million related to the firm’s cost-saving initiative.

“We met our sales and earnings targets for the quarter, driven by strong double-digit performances in our international operations,” said president and chief executive officer William P. Lauder in a statement. “Sales increased in all product categories in Europe and Asia. Illustrating the Company’s global reach, more than half of sales and operating income was generated outside the United States from a mix of established and emerging markets.”

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