Sales: $11.3 billion.
Key Personnel: William P. Lauder, executive chairman; Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer; John Demsey, executive group president; Carl Haney, executive vice president, global research and development, corporate product innovation, package development; Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus; Ronald S. Lauder, chairman, Clinique Laboratories, LLC; Sara E. Moss, executive vice president and general counsel; Michael O’Hara, executive vice president, global human resources; Gregory F. Polcer, executive vice president, global supply chain; Cedric Prouvé, group president, international; Tracey T. Travis, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Alexandra C. Trower, executive vice president, communications.
Major Products: Cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances. Brands include Aerin Beauty, Aramis, Aveda, Becca, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Clinique, Darphin, DKNY, Donna Karan, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, Ermenegildo Zegna, Estée Lauder, GlamGlow, Jo Malone, Kilian, Kiton, LaMer, Lab Series, Le Labo, MAC, Michael Kors, Origins, Rodin, Smashbox, Tom Ford Beauty, Tommy Hilfiger, Too Faced, Tory Burch.
New Products: Glamglow Plumprageous, Les Extraits Verts, Smashbox Primers, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask, Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay, Tom Ford Soleil Collection and Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme, Genaissance de La Mer The Serum Essence, Jo Malone London Rare Teas and Mimosa & Cardamom, Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude, Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream and Beyond Perfecting Makeup; Aveda Invati Men and Shampure dry shampoo. Acquisitions—Becca (November 2016) and Too Faced (December 2016).
Comments: CEO Fabrizio Freda proudly notes that Estée Lauder is the only large company solely focused on prestige beauty. As the middle-class grows around the world, he reasons, Estée Lauder and its 25 brands will be around to grow with them. The company estimates that emerging markets may account for a quarter of prestige beauty sales in 10 year’s time.
Last year, Estée Lauder’s online sales topped $1 billion for the first time, up from $400 million in 2012. Also, last year, free-standing stores accounted for 10% of sales. In a nod to the Pacific Rim’s influence on beauty, the company invested in Have & Be Co., Ltd., the South Korean company behind Dr. Jart+ and Do The Right Thing. In another nod to the future, EL is already bracing for Generation Z, the first consumer group to grow up with social media. These consumers, born after 1998, already account for more than 25% of the global population, and account for 50% increase in the multiracial youth population since 2000, according to Estée Lauder.
By region, the Americas accounted for 42% of sales, followed by EMEA, 39% and Asia-Pacific 19%. Sales in the Americas improved 5% to $4.7 billion, thanks to gains in sales of Clinique, Smashbox, Estée Lauder and MAC makeup, La Mer skin care, Aveda hair care, and Tom Ford Jo Malone London fragrances. EMEA sales increased 12% to nearly $4.4 billion. Gains in travel retail, the UK and the Middle East were credited for the increase. Sales in Asia-Pacific fell less than 1% to nearly $2.2 billion. Forex woes and weakness in Hong Kong, Thailand Malaysia and Korea were blamed. These results offset gains in The Philippines and Japan.
By category makeup sales rose more than 9% to over $4.7 billion, thanks to the success of Clinique, Smashbox, Tom Ford and Estée Lauder brands. Skin care sales fell less than 1% last year to over $4.4 billion. The decline was due to lower sales of Estée Lauder and Clinique due to lower sales in Asia/Pacific, particularly Hong Kong. On the plus side, La Mer and Origins provided a lift. Fragrance sales increased nearly 5% to almost $1.5 billion. The popularity of Tom Ford and Jo Malone London fragrances were credited for the gain along with the acquisition of By Kilian and the 2015 purchases of Le Labo and Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. Hair care sales increased 4% to $554 million on the strength of Aveda and the introduction of products like Invati Men and Shampure dry shampoo.
About a year ago, Estée Lauder unveiled its Leading Beauty Forward (LBF) initiative which is designed to enhance the company’s go-to-market capabilities, reinforce its leadership in global prestige beauty and continue creating sustainable value. In effect through 2021, the program is expected to reduce the workforce by as many as 1,200. LBF is expected to cost $600-700 million, but result in annual savings of $200-300 million.
In November, the company purchased Becca for an undisclosed amount. The next month, Estée Lauder paid $1.5 billion to acquire Too Faced, a hefty price tag for a company with sales of $220 million last year, according to industry estimates.
For the nine months, ended March 31, 2017, sales topped $8.9 billion and earnings were flat at a little over $1 billion. Makeup sales rose 1% to $3.7 billion, skin care sales increased about 1% to $3.4 billion; fragrance sales jumped 10% to nearly $1.3 billion; hair care sales fell about 3% to $399 million and “other” rose 3% to $60 million. Lauder noted that sales grew in every region. Skin care got a lift from La Mer as well as from the acquisitions of Becca and Too Faced. Makeup sales rose on the strength of Tom Ford, Estée Lauder and Smashbox sales, while Jo Malone London lifted fragrance sales. The decline in hair care was blamed on a difficult comparison to the prior year’s results, which rose due to new product introductions.
By region, North American sales increased 1% to more than $3.64 billion. The acquisitions of By Kilian, Becca and Too Faced led the way, as well as continued popularity of Tom Ford, Jo Malone London, Smashbox and La Mer, travel retail gains and higher sales in Russia propelled Europe, the Middle East & Africa sales higher by 5% to nearly $3.5 billion. Tom Ford, Jo Malone London and La Mer were all credited with helping to lift sales. On the flip side, the Middle East and the UK were a drag on results. Sales in Asia-Pacific increased 6% to more than $1.8 billion due to gains in China, Korea and Japan. China results benefitted from increases in online sales. Tom Ford, Jo Malone London and MAC boosted sales in Japan, while MAC, La Mer, Jo Malone London and Tom Ford lifted results in Korea.