Estée Lauder (NYSE: EL) reported net sales of $4.85 billion for its second quarter ended December 31, 2020, an increase of 5% on a reported basis, and 3% in constant currency, from $4.62 billion in the prior-year period. Incremental net sales from the Company’s acquisition of Have&Be Co. Ltd. (“Dr. Jart+”) contributed approximately 3 percentage points of net sales growth. The Asia/Pacific region, travel retail and global online net sales growth was partially offset by lower foot traffic in open stores and, to a lesser extent, temporary retail store closures attributable to COVID-19.
The Company reported net earnings of $873 million, compared with net earnings of $557 million in the prior-year period. Diluted net earnings per common share was $2.37, compared with $1.52 reported in the prior-year period. Excluding the benefit of currency translation, adjusted diluted earnings per common share, which excludes items detailed on page 3, increased 21%.
Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “We are proud to have returned to growth in our second quarter, earlier than we anticipated, demonstrating the enduring success of our multiple engines of growth strategy. The powerful engines of Skin Care, Fragrance, Asia/Pacific, Travel Retail in Asia, and global Online fueled our performance despite the increasing complexity of the pandemic.
Ten of our brands grew, signifying the broad-based strength of our portfolio, hero products and innovation, led by double-digit sales growth from the Estée Lauder and La Mer brands. For holiday and key shopping events, we welcomed new consumers and deepened relationships with existing consumers. We successfully combined technology and data with our talented beauty advisors to deliver high-touch services, enriching the online shopping experience. We invested in our growth engines and employed strict cost discipline in other areas, driving double-digit adjusted earnings growth.”
Freda emphasized, “Our performance this quarter gives us confidence, as we delivered strong sales and earnings growth amid the pandemic while living our company values and investing in technology for new capabilities to support accelerating growth drivers. We still expect to deliver sequentially improving sales growth each quarter for the remainder of fiscal 2021 as we continue driving recovery.”