Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer, said, “We concluded another outstanding fiscal year with a strong fourth quarter that saw high-single-digit sales gains and exceptional double-digit earnings per share growth. Fiscal 2013 marked another record year in which our company achieved a number of historic milestones: $10 billion in net sales, 15.2% operating margin and $1 billion in net earnings. We also delivered record earnings per share and operating cash flow.
“Looking at a broader picture, we once again posted sales growth that we believe was greater than global prestige beauty, and achieved strong across-the-board sales gains in each of our geographic regions and major product categories. This year we also advanced our strategic priorities, including enhancing our business in skin care, emerging markets and fast-growing distribution channels.”
Estée Lauder executives expect the momentum to extend into fiscal 2014. Freda said the company will support sales growth by launching outstanding products, further penetrating fast-growing emerging markets, expanding distribution in fast-growing prestige channels and reigniting its fragrance business.
“Consistent with our strategy, we intend to support our business with targeted investments aimed at enhancing the global reach of our brands and further building long-term brand equity,” said Freda.
During the fiscal year, sales growth was particularly strong in the company’s luxury brands, online and travel retail channels and overall in emerging markets, along with solid gains in several developed countries.
In fiscal 2014, the company expects global prestige beauty to rise approximately 3-4%, reflecting continued weakness in certain Southern European countries and Korea. The company continues to expect beauty market growth in the US but at a slower pace than in fiscal 2013.
For the full year 2014, net sales are forecast to grow between 6% and 8% in constant currency.