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Estee Lauder Profit Falls, 2000 Jobs Cut

NEW YORK -- Cosmetics maker Estee Lauder (EL) said Thursday fiscal second-quarter profit fell 30%, hurt by the stronger dollar and weak consumer spending environment, and said it would cut 2,000 workers as part of a restructuring.

Profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31 fell 30% to $158 million, or 80 cents per share, from $224.4 million, or $1.14 per share last year.

Revenue fell 12% to $2.04 billion from $2.31 billion last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, predicted a profit of 77 cents per share on revenue of $2.04 billion.

Sales fell across all categories, with skin care sales down 7%, makeup down 12% and fragrance down 20%.

The company said it plans to begin a four-year restructuring plan that will include cutting 2,000 staffers, or 6% of the work force, freezing merit raises and continuing its hiring freeze.

It will also cut costs and inventory and realign its geographic regions.

The plan will cost $350 million to $450 million over the next several years.

The company also said Thursday that the weak retail environment will likely continue to hurt results, forecasting fiscal third-quarter earnings below expectations.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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