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The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. reported net sales of $2.09 billion for the first quarter ended Sept. 30, 2010, a 14% increase compared with $1.83 billion reported in the prior year. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, net sales increased 15% from a year ago. The company reported net earnings for the quarter of $191.1 million, a 36% increase from the $140.7 million last year.
"We had an excellent quarter and made a strong entrance into fiscal 2011 with solid, double-digit top and bottom line growth," said Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO, The Estée Lauder Companies. "Our results included acceleration in the U.S., where we generated robust sales growth, and continued strong gains from our international business. Strong worldwide demand for our products resulted from our superb innovations, supported by targeted advertising and our high-touch selling model. Our decision to invest substantial funds in advertising spending during the previous quarter built momentum in our businesses, and the impact of that strategic decision is reflected in our strong sales growth this quarter. These factors, coupled with a weaker U.S. dollar, resulted in record first-quarter sales, operating margin, profits and earnings per share.
"One of our priorities this fiscal year is continuing to execute on our carefully constructed growth strategies and building on the momentum we are experiencing. Focus and discipline will guide us to take advantage of opportunities, while carefully monitoring and responding to challenges and risks."
The company posted strong sales gains in each of its geographic regions and most product categories. Sales growth was led by the company's international businesses, particularly in travel retail and emerging markets. These results reflect solid increases from higher-margin product launches and the positive impact of effective advertising spending.
All product categories and geographic regions benefited from company-wide efforts to reduce or eliminate non-value added costs, including a more strategically focused approach to spending, as well as significant improvement in cost of sales. Most product categories and geographic regions were up against easier comparisons with the prior-year period.