The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. posted an 8 percent net sales gain in the fiscal first quarter, with more than $3.27 billion in sales.
The company’s net earnings also rose, up 17 percent to $500 million, from $427 million in the prior-year quarter. Diluted net earnings per share were also 17 percent, to $1.34.
“Our top growth drivers were skin care globally, the Asia-Pacific region and emerging markets, the global online and travel retail channels, and most brands, including Estée Lauder, MAC, La Mer, Tom Ford and Origins. In addition, in the U.S., excluding Bon-Ton closures, our performance among department stores turned positive,” said Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer of Lauder.
“We are operating in a challenging macro environment with many economic and geopolitical risks, but we are confident in the strength of our business strategy, the quality of our products, the desirability of our brands and our ability to execute with discipline and agility. With our strong first-quarter results and exciting upcoming launches and programs, we are raising our [earnings per share] guidance for the year,” Freda continued.
By category, skin care grew the most, up 17 percent to $1.49 billion, driven by La Mer and Estée Lauder. Makeup was up 2 percent, to $1.41 billion, driven by gains from MAC, Estée Lauder and Tom Ford Beauty but offset by Clinique and Smashbox. Fragrance was down 1 percent, which Lauder said was because of the adoption of new accounting standards, to $472 million. Tom Ford Beauty, Jo Malone London, Le Labo and By Kilian continue to drive sales, but some designer fragrances are down. Hair care was up 5 percent to $143 million, driven mostly by Aveda.