Beauty is booming in Asia.
The region, which has always been known for its skin-care savvy consumers, is becoming a crucial growth driver for the large beauty conglomerates, especially as sales have softened in North America and Western Europe.
On Wednesday, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. touted a 24 percent jump in net sales in the Asia-Pacific region, driven by double-digit growth in most of those markets, especially China, where the company has posted six consecutive quarters of double-digit increases. Earlier in the week, L’Oréal posted a 25.8 percent gain for the Asia-Pacific region.
For Lauder, expansion in Asia was coupled with gains in travel retail, online sales and the turnaround of its U.S. segment, which all contributed to an 8 percent sales gain for the fiscal first quarter. The beauty firm posted $3.27 billion in net sales. Net earnings were up 17 percent to $500 million, and diluted net earnings per share gained 17 percent to $1.34. In mid-day trading, the company’s stock was up more than 5 percent, to $138.53.
By category, skin-care’s gains were the most significant — up 17 percent to $1.49 billion thanks to La Mer and Estée Lauder. Makeup sales moderated, up 2 percent for the quarter