Estée Lauder’s strong financial run maintains its momentum for Q4

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Estée Lauder’s strong financial run maintains its momentum for Q4

Related tags Generally accepted accounting principles Revenue

The Estée Lauder Companies has posted another strong set of quarterly results, achieving record sales figures for its fourth quarter and a big rise in net profits.

The company said that net sales increased by 7 percent to $2.41bn, which when factoring in the negative impact of currency translations meant that sales were up by 8 percent.

But the biggest gains were seen in the company’s net earnings for the quarter, which was up by 84 percent to $95.9m, a result of the comprehensive restructuring program that has put the company on a stronger financial track.

The quarterly profits beat Wall Street expectations, but the figure for the net revenue during the period was slightly below forecasts.

Full year profits impacted by restructuring charges

For the full financial year net sales were up by 5 percent to $10.18bn, which represented a 6 percent gain when factoring in the negative impact of currency translations, while net earnings for the year rose by 19 percent to $1.02bn.

The company noted that the yearly results have been driven by a significant sales surge in its luxury brands, online and travel retail channels.

The point that the full year earnings were impacted by returns and charges associated with its restructuring activities that amounted to $11.7m after tax was also underlined.

Strong end to a good financial year

“We concluded another outstanding fiscal year with a strong fourth quarter that saw high-single-digit sales gains and exceptional double-digit earnings per share growth,”​ said Fabrizio Freda, president and Chief Executive Officer.

“Fiscal 2013 marked another record year in which our Company achieved a number of historic milestones: $10 billion in net sales, 15.2 percent operating margin and $1 billion in net earnings.”

On a regional basis sales were up by 5 percent in the full year in the Americas region, to $4.30bn, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa was up 4 percent to $3.75bn and the Asia Pacific region was up 5 percent to $2.12bn.

The company is lined up for a good performance in 2014

On a category basis the biggest gains were seen in the company’s skin care sales in all markets, while make-up also showed significant gains.

“We expect our strong momentum to extend into fiscal 2014. We will support our sales growth by launching outstanding products, further penetrating fast-growing emerging markets, expanding our distribution in fast growing prestige channels and reigniting our fragrance category,”​ said Fabrizio.

The company is eyeing a local currency sales increase of 6 to 8 percent during the 2014 financial year, together with double-digit earnings per share growth.

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