BOOTS’ DOWNHILL WALK: The sale of the Halfords’ auto parts chain knocked down The Boots Group plc’s net income for the year ended March 31 by 25 percent to $493 million, or 59 cents a diluted share, from $659.5 million, or 75 cents. The firm incurred a $200 million loss on the divestiture, which garnered $696 million. Sales were essentially flat, declining 0.1 percent to $8.68 billion from $8.69 billion and were up 6 percent, to $8.3 billion, for continuing operations. Dollar figures are converted from the pound at current exchange. Sales growth in beauty and toiletries was 6.8 percent, reflecting a strong performance in cosmetics, where sales were up 11.1 percent. Skin care sales were up 6.2 percent and sun care was up 13.8 percent. The company did not break out sales figures for its product divisions.

LANGHAMMER’S OPTIONS: The Estée Lauder Cos. president and chief executive Fred Langhammer exercised options to purchase 200,000 shares of the firm’s common stock on May 30, according to a Form 4-A filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. On that same day, he sold 200,000 shares at prices ranging from $33 to $33.34, netting a total of more than $4 million after subtracting for the cost of the shares. The options had been exercisable since January 2000 and were set to expire in November 2005. Langhammer continued to hold 100,050 shares of Lauder’s common stock, as well as options to purchase another 4.1 million at various exercise prices.

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