With its reliance on department store sales for its biggest brands, including the core Estée Lauder brand and Clinique, the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) have posted a global sales drop of 11 per cent to US$3.35 billion for the company’s fiscal third quarter.  

But skincare sales remained strong across major franchises, fuelling high single digit growth to reach US$1.7 billion over the period.

Makeup sales suffered the sharpest decline of 22 per cent to US$1.1 billion as major regional markets endured strict lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Haircare sales dropped 13 per cent to US$119 million and fragrance revenues fell 11 per cent to US$349 million.

But CEO Fabrizio Freda had plenty of reasons to be satisfied with the performance.

The Estée Lauder, Darphin and Le Labo brands posted solid growth, sales in mainland China and travel retail increased and global online sales soared in double digits.

“The surge in our online business worldwide, coupled by the recovery we are seeing emerge in China, confirm consumers’ passion for our prestige portfolio,” he added.

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