Estée Lauder raises full-year forecast, shares rise

Estée Lauder raises full-year forecast, shares rise
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Philippe Wojazer(Reuters)
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(Reuters) - Estée Lauder Cos Inc raised its annual forecast for profit and sales on Tuesday, after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results that were driven by higher demand for luxury skincare products, sending its shares up 10 percent.

Growth in the Asia-Pacific region, online and travel retail channels, brands such as La Mer, M.A.C. and Origins, and strong holiday sales of Jo Malone London fragrances, fuelled a robust quarter, the company said.

"Despite a volatile and challenging backdrop, we are optimistic about our company's long-term outlook," Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Freda said.

The company now expects adjusted profit for fiscal 2019 to be in the range of $4.92 to $5 per share from a prior forecast of $4.73 and $4.82. It also expects adjusted sales to grow between 8 percent and 9 percent. The company had earlier forecast a range of 7 percent to 8 percent.

Sales in the skincare business grew 16 percent in the quarter, while the Asia-Pacific region drew in the biggest growth with 17 percent.

Net income attributable to the company rose four fold to $573 million (440 million pounds), or $1.55 per share, in the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018, from a year earlier, when the company incurred a tax-related charge.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.74 per share, beating estimates of $1.55 per cent, according to Refinitiv data.

Net sales rose 7 percent to $4.01 billion, also topping analysts' average expectation of $3.92 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Jaslein Mahil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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