The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) today reported net sales for its second quarter ended December 31, 2012 of $2.93 billion, a 7% increase compared with $2.74 billion in the prior-year quarter. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, net sales also increased 7% from a year ago. These results were delivered against a 10% local currency sales increase in the prior-year quarter and continued softness in certain markets, particularly Southern Europe and Korea. The Company reported a 50-basis-point increase in operating margin and net earnings for the quarter rose 13% to $447.5 million, compared with $396.7 million last year. Diluted net earnings per common share rose 13% to $1.13, compared with $1.00 reported in the prior year. All mention of net earnings in the body of this release refers to net earnings attributable to The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., which reflects the adjustment for noncontrolling interests.
The fiscal 2013 second-quarter results included returns and charges associated with restructuring activities of $14.6 million ($9.5 million after tax), equal to $.02 per diluted common share. The fiscal 2012 second quarter results included returns and charges associated with restructuring activities of $6.1 million ($4.4 million after tax), equal to $.01 per diluted common share.
Excluding these returns and charges in the second quarters of fiscal 2013 and 2012, net sales for the three months ended December 31, 2012 increased 7% to $2.93 billion and net earnings rose 14% to $457.0 million. Diluted net earnings per common share rose 14% to $1.16, versus a comparable $1.01 in the prior-year period. A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures is included in this release.
In the second quarter of fiscal 2013, some retailers accelerated their orders in advance of the Company’s January 2013 implementation of SAP at certain of its locations and brands. Those additional orders amounted to approximately $94 million in sales that would have likely occurred in the Company’s fiscal 2013 third quarter. These orders, while planned, were above the Company’s expectations. Similarly, the Company’s fiscal 2012 second quarter included approximately $30 million of sales resulting from accelerated retailer orders in advance of the Company’s January 2012 implementation of SAP at certain of its locations. Combined, these actions created a difficult comparison between the fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2012 second quarters of approximately $64 million in sales and $55 million in operating income, equal to $.09 per diluted common share. Excluding the impact of the timing of orders and returns and charges associated with restructuring activities, net sales and operating income would have increased 5% and 2%, respectively, which was better than expected. The impact of these shifts by region and product category is included in this release.