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Estée Lauder Posts Double-digit Sales, Earnings Jump

"All four of our biggest brands, each with annual sales well over $1 billion, grew globally."

The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. posted an 11 percent net sales gain and 19 percent earnings jump for the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

Net sales increased to $3.9 billion in the quarter, from $3.52 billion in the prior-year period. Net earnings were $595 million, up from $500 million in the prior-year period. Diluted net earnings per common share increased 21 percent to $1.61.

Lauder’s growth continues to be fueled by China, skin care and travel retail.

“Our winning strategy based on multiple engines of growth helped us deliver an extraordinary performance, especially in light of the volatile global environment, reflecting the agility and resiliency we have created in our business model,” Lauder president and chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda said in a statement. He called out emerging markets and online channels as additional sources of growth, and noted that Lauder’s big brands are growing.

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“All four of our biggest brands, each with annual sales well over $1 billion, grew globally. That demonstrates the enduring consumer interest in established brands and their proven, desirable products,” Freda said. “Improved data analytics and consumer insights fueled our successful innovations and digital marketing, and our hero franchises continued to power our portfolio.”

Skin care remained Lauder’s powerhouse category, jumping 24 percent in the quarter to $1.8 billion in sales. Makeup grew 3 percent, to $1.4 billion in sales. Fragrance and hair were down — 2 and 5 percent, respectively — to $462 million and $136 million.

Skin-care gains were driven by Estée Lauder and La Mer, while Clinique and Origins also grew globally. The Lauder brand continues to see gains from development of hero franchises, like Advanced Night Repair, Micro Essence and Revitalizing Supreme. La Mer’s gains were broad-based, driven by sales of The Treatment Lotion and The Concentrate and the relaunch of The Regenerating Serum.

Makeup sales were driven by Estée Lauder, MAC, Tom Ford Beauty and La Mer, but those gains were offset by lower sales from Too Faced, Becca and Clinique. Estée Lauder sales were driven by Double Wear; MAC’s increases were because of gains across Asia and travel retail; Tom Ford’s sales were driven by lip, eye shadow and cushion compact products in Asia, and La Mer’s growth was driven by The Luminous Lifting Cushion Foundation.

In fragrance, sales gains from Jo Malone London and Tom Ford were offset by lower sales from designer fragrances. Hair declines reflected lower sales from Bumble and bumble across North American salons and specialty stores.

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