August 20, 2014, 12:09 PM

Estee Lauder posts double-digit web sales growth in 2014

The cosmetics manufacturer plans to bring more brands online in 2015.

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The web stood as the fastest-growing channel for cosmetic products manufacturer The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year 2014 ended June 30. In an earnings call last week, the company highlighted several aspects of its online business, including emerging foreign markets and mobile commerce, that have propelled its double-digit growth.

“In the online space, Estée Lauder opened a shop on Tmall, which contributed to our e-commerce business in China more than doubling,” president and CEO Fabrizio Freda told Wall Street analysts on the call. “We generated strong sales growth in other emerging markets, which represents an important part of our expansion plan. Taken together, these markets, which include, for example, Middle East, Turkey, Russia, are climbing double digits.”

The company did not report specific web sales figures or growth percentages for the fourth quarter or fiscal year, but Freda said Estee Lauder’s online business grew by double digits and the company expects it to be the fastest-growing channel in 2015, again posting double-digit gains in the U.S. along with its emerging markets.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, Estée Lauder, No. 67 in Internet Retailer’s 2014 Top 500 Guide, reports:

  • Total sales were $10.97 billion, an increase of 7.8% from $10.18 billion in fiscal 2013.
  • Net income was $1.20 billion, a 17.6% increase from $1.02 billion last year.
  • Total sales in the Americas, including North America and 17 countries in Latin America, grew by 6.3%, from $4.30 billion in 2013 to $4.57 billion in 2014.
  • Total sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew by 10.6%, from $3.76 billion in 2013 to $4.16 billion in 2014.
  • Total sales in Asia-Pacific grew by 5.2%, from $2.12 billion in 2013 to $2.23 billion in 2014.

“In fiscal 2015, we plan to bring more brands online in several new markets,” Freda said. “We are building on the success of Clinique and Estée Lauder on Tmall in China by opening origins there later this year and looking at more brands to follow.”

The company will also expand its mobile commerce, saying that mobile was the fastest-growing section of its online business. Led by MAC (Make-up Art Cosmetics), the retailer’s mobile sales doubled over the last year.

For the fourth quarter, the company reports:

  • Total sales were $2.73 billion, an increase of 13.3% from $2.41 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Net income was $257.7 million, up 174.1% from net income of $94.0 million in Q4 last year.
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