The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. reported net sales for its first quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013 rose 5% to $2.68 billion. Net earnings for the quarter were $300.7 million, compared with $299.5 million last year.
Net sales growth during the quarter was particularly strong in the luxury and MAC brands, online and travel retail channels and overall in emerging markets. Many developed countries reported solid gains as well. The company made further progress on its strategic goals and realized a solid improvement in cost of sales. As planned, the company increased global advertising spending versus the prior-year quarter to support its biggest innovations and certain existing products.
Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer, said, “I’m pleased that our sales growth was in line with our target and we exceeded our earnings per share estimate for the quarter, despite softer-than-expected market conditions in certain countries. We achieved these results on the strength of our brands, many of which have introduced successful new innovations that we have supported with strong marketing programs. Our luxury brands, online and travel retail channels, and emerging markets continued to generate excellent results, lead our growth and contributed to broad sales gains in each of our geographic regions and major product categories.
“Looking ahead, we are well positioned for the important holiday shopping period, with the strongest slate of new fragrances in more than a decade, as well as other innovative products across our categories. We are focused on achieving superior top-line growth by driving sales momentum throughout the fiscal year with our product and service innovations, backed by creativity, product quality and comprehensive marketing programs. For the full fiscal year, we continue to expect to grow sales 6% to 8% in local currency, which is double our global prestige beauty estimate, and we are revising our earnings per share estimate to $2.80 to $2.87, after taking up the bottom of the range.”