Aug 15, 2014
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Estee Lauder profit doubles as retailers bring forward orders

Aug 15, 2014

(Reuters) - Estee Lauder Cos Inc's quarterly profit doubled, helped by strong demand for new skincare and makeup products and as retailers brought forward orders ahead of a planned technology upgrade.

Shares of the company, known for its Estee Lauder, Clinique and MAC brands, rose about 1 percent before the bell.

Demand for new products including Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion and Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick drove double-digit percentage sales growth in the company's key U.S. and European markets.

Sales rose 11 percent in the Americas, including the United States, and 15 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The regions contributed about 82 percent to total sales.

Estee Lauder said the advanced orders, which were usually booked in the first quarter, would reduce sales by about 7 percent in the current quarter and by 3 percent in the year ending June 2015.

Estee Lauder's sales have been growing faster than those of the overall cosmetics industry and of rivals such as L'Oreal SA, Elizabeth Arden Inc and Coty Inc.

Net income attributable to Estee Lauder rose to $257.7 million, or 66 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended June 30 from $94 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total sales rose 13.2 percent to $2.73 billion.

Advanced orders from retailers added about $127 million, or 21 cents per share, to operating income, the company said.

Estee Lauder's shares closed at $75.90 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Up to Thursday's close, the stock had risen 0.8 percent this year, while the S&P 500 Personal Products Index had fallen 5.2 percent.

(Reporting by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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