Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Our fiscal second quarter sales growth was in line with our expectations, despite softer than expected markets in some geographies. Earnings per share exceeded our forecast, due to strong results in several of our brands and high margin channels, as well as our ability to leverage costs. These results confirm that our business strategy is sound and effective. Adjusting for the accelerated sales orders in the prior year, our local currency sales increased more than 7%. Underscoring our sustainable growth is our strong and diverse portfolio of brands that is balanced by geography, product category and channel. Key drivers of our sales gains in the quarter were the United States and the United Kingdom, our luxury and makeup artist brands, and online and travel retail channels. These factors and continued strength overall in emerging markets more than compensated for soft results in certain European countries and solid but slowing Chinese market growth.
“Our strategy prioritizes the fastest growing areas of our business to drive top-line growth and increase profitability and margins. To achieve this, we plan to continue appropriate levels of targeted investment spending, while leveraging efficient cost management in other expense categories. At the same time, we will bring a steady flow of new products to market and increase brand awareness by further expanding digital and social media capabilities and high-touch in-store service innovation.
“With half of our year behind us, we are narrowing our full fiscal year sales estimate to 6% to 7% in local currency, reflecting softening in some key markets. At the same time, we are reaffirming our earnings per share estimate of $2.80 to $2.87 for the full fiscal year. Our forecast reflects our ability to leverage high growth opportunities while recognizing and navigating tougher environments to deliver our financial goals.”