Estée Lauder Raises Forecast

The Estée Lauder Cos Inc. said better-than-expected sales and tight cost controls would lead it to “significantly higher” Q1 profits than previously projected.

The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. Friday said better-than-expected sales and tight controls on costs would lead it to “significantly higher” first-quarter profits than previously projected.

This story first appeared in the October 19, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In August, the beauty company said earnings before restructuring charges would range from 23 cents to 30 cents a diluted share for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Sales, measured at constant currencies, were slated to drop 2 to 5 percent.

The company did not offer specific new projections and said it would increase its earnings guidance for the full year when it reports results on Oct. 30.

Lauder pinned the sales improvement on a strong showing from product launches, growth in Asia, increased traffic for its travel retail business and more favorable currency translation. The upward revision helped the firm’s shares rise $1.99, or 5.1 percent, to $41.11 on Friday.

“Despite the stronger-than-anticipated first-quarter results, the company remains cautious regarding the global economic climate and consumer spending throughout the year,” said the firm. “For the remainder of the fiscal year, [the company] expects to accelerate investment spending above first-quarter levels behind its brands and key priorities.”