The Estée Lauder Companies First Quarter Sales Rise 6% In Local Currency

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL) today reported net sales for its first quarter ended September 30, 2013 of $2.68 billion, a 5% increase compared with $2.55 billion in the prior-year quarter. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, net sales increased 6%. Net earnings for the quarter were $300.7 million, compared with $299.5 million last year and diluted net earnings per common share were $.76, which was flat with the prior year.

The fiscal 2014 and 2013 first quarter results included charges associated with restructuring activities of $1.2 million and $0.4 million, respectively. Additionally, in the fiscal 2013 first quarter, the Company recorded a pre-tax charge of $19.1 million ($12.2 million after tax), for the extinguishment of debt, equal to $.03 per diluted common share.

Excluding these charges in the first quarters of fiscal 2014 and 2013, net earnings for the three months ended September 30, 2013 were $301.6 million, and diluted net earnings per common share were $.76, versus a comparable $.79 in the prior-year period. A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures is included in this release.

Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “I’m pleased that our sales growth was in line with our target and we exceeded our earnings per share estimate for the quarter, despite softer-than-expected market conditions in certain countries. We achieved these results on the strength of our brands, many of which have introduced successful new innovations that we have supported with strong marketing programs. Our luxury brands, online and travel retail channels, and emerging markets continued to generate excellent results, lead our growth and contributed to broad sales gains in each of our geographic regions and major product categories.

“Looking ahead, we are well positioned for the important holiday shopping period, with the strongest slate of new fragrances in more than a decade, as well as other innovative products across our categories. We are focused on achieving superior top-line growth by driving sales momentum throughout the fiscal year with our product and service innovations, backed by creativity, product quality and comprehensive marketing programs. For the full fiscal year, we continue to expect to grow sales 6% to 8% in local currency, which is double our global prestige beauty estimate, and we are revising our earnings per share estimate to $2.80 to $2.87, after taking up the bottom of the range.”

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