Estée Lauder Sales Jump 16%, Driven by Skin Care

Skin care is currently more than double the size of makeup at the Estée Lauder Cos., which saw strong gains at La Mer, Clinique and other brands in the most recent quarter.

The Estée Lauder Cos. said total net sales jumped 16 percent in the most recent quarter, driven by skin care and fragrance.

For the quarter ended March 31, skin care sales soared 31 percent, to more than $2.25 billion. Makeup sales declined 11 percent, to just more than $1 billion. Fragrance sales increased 30 percent, to $454 million, and hair care sales increased 8 percent to $128 million.

In total, Lauder posted $3.86 billion in net sales for the quarter ended March 31, a 16 percent uptick from the prior-year period, when the company posted $3.35 billion. Net earnings were $456 million, compared to a net loss of $6 million for the 2020 quarter. Net earnings per share were $1.24, compared with a loss of 2 cents the prior year.

“We exceeded our sales and earnings expectations, even as several markets experienced increasing pressure from COVID-19 throughout the quarter,” said Lauder president and chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda in a statement. “Our growth engines of skin care and fragrance were incredibly powerful. Sales rose in every region, led by double-digit growth in Asia/Pacific, where many markets contributed and sales growth in mainland China accelerated.”

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Online sales increased double digits globally, and travel retail sales also saw an uptick, Freda said. Estée Lauder, La Mer, Jo Malone London, Clinique and Tom Ford Beauty were the best performing brands.

In skin care, the Estée Lauder brand grew in travel retail and mainland China. Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex was a best seller, as were traditional hero products in the Revitalizing Supreme+, Daywear and Re-Nutriv lines.

La Mer’s growth was also strong in Asia, especially China. The brand’s expansion remains driven by hero products, including Crème de la Mer, The Concentrate and The Treatment Lotion.

Clinique’s hero products are selling well, too, as is the Mega-Mushroom line at Origins, the company said. Dr. Jart+ has gained momentum in mainland China and travel retail in Korea.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on makeup sales, were are down across nearly all brands, Lauder said. Foundation and lip products are disproportionately affected.

In fragrance, Jo Malone London, Tom Ford, Kilian Paris and Estée Lauder saw increases. In hair, Aveda drove upticks.

Globally, Lauder saw increases across regions. The Americas grew 3 percent in the quarter, to $916 million in sales; Europe, the Middle East and Africa gained 12 percent, to $1.7 billion in sales, and sales in the Asia/Pacific region jumped 35 percent, to $1.3 billion.

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