Lauder Reports Q1

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. reported $1.90 billion in net sales for its fiscal first quarter, ended Sept. 30, 2008, an 11% increase over the $1.71 billion reported in the prior-year quarter. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, net sales rose 10%. Net earnings for the quarter were $51.1 million, a 31% increase compared with $39.1 million last year. Diluted net earnings per common share for the quarter rose 30% to $.26 compared with $.20 reported in the prior year.

"In spite of a very challenging global macroeconomic environment, we met our sales growth target and exceeded our EPS estimate for the quarter," said William P. Lauder, CEO, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. "We achieved our goals on the strength of our brands and the efforts of our employees who demonstrated time and again the value of our products to consumers. Our performance in the period underscored, once more, the importance of our investments in emerging markets as well as our presence in more established international markets. We also continued to benefit from product innovation, multichannel distribution and consistent brand building investments. Looking forward, we are convinced that these strategies, along with our commitment to strong execution and disciplined spending, will continue to be key drivers of both our top line and bottom line performance.

"In the near term, we see this as a time of extraordinary uncertainty. We believe the global economic challenges will be extensive and ongoing, and we are managing our business with these expectations in mind. We remain focused on our core strengths and in directing our resources to the greatest growth opportunities, while vigilantly taking necessary steps to protect our bottom line where we can. We believe that the slowdown in the global economy will impact our overall sales growth for the remainder of the fiscal year, and the unprecedented strengthening of the U.S. dollar against several major currencies will also have a negative impact on our results. With this in mind, we are revising our full 2009 fiscal year estimates for sales growth in constant currencies to 3% to 5% and earnings per share to $2.20 to $2.50."

The complete report with charts is available here.

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