“Fiscal 2004 was a year when we exceeded our expectations,” said William P. Lauder, president and chief executive officer. “We began the year with strong financial targets, revised them upward as the U.S. retail environment improved and ended the year
with outstanding results. Our worldwide brand recognition and innovative products provided the basis for across the board sales growth in all product categories and geographic regions. Our international business grew double-digits, while domestically a rebound in consumer sentiment generated solid sales increases.”
Net sales for the fourth quarter ended June 30 grew 15% to $1.4 billion. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, net sales increased 12%. Net sales in the quarter increased double-digits in skin care, makeup and fragrance, while hair care rose in high single-digits.
Net sales increased also in each geographic region, reflecting double-digit growth in Europe, the Middle East & Africa and Asia/Pacific and high-single-digit growth in the Americas.
Estée Lauder executives predicted net sales for the first half of 2005 will grow 8-9%. “We’ll look to carry this momentum into the new fiscal year setting our sights on continued growth and our long-term objectives,” Mr. Lauder said. “We expect to benefit from further building our brands, expanding our markets globally and diversifying our channels of distribution.”