The Estée Lauder Companies reported net sales rose 8% to $1.75 billion for the second fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004. Net sales rose 5% excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, executives said. Net earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter 2004 were $138.3 million, a 10% increase from the prior year. William P. Lauder, president and chief executive officer. said sales grew in all major product categories and regions, aided by a favorable currency environment. “We continue to benefit from our global sourcing and manufacturing initiatives as well as ongoing cost containment efforts,” he commented. “These enable us to increase our marketing expenditures to further enhance our brands while meeting our profitability goals.” The company will continue to invest in new brands, channels and geographic distribution, Mr. Lauder added.