10-K 1 a19-11548_110k.htm 10-K

Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

 

Washington, D.C. 20549

 


 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

 

x

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

OR

 

o

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

 

 

 

For the transition period from          to          

 

Commission file number 1-14064

 

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

 

11-2408943

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

767 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York

 

10153

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code 212-572-4200

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

Trading
Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Class A Common Stock, $.01 par value

EL

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes  x  No o

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes  o  No x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes  x  No o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).  Yes  x  No o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company.  See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer x

Accelerated filer o

 

Non-accelerated filer o

Smaller reporting company o

Emerging growth company o

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes o No x

 

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $28 billion at December 31, 2018 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second quarter).*

 

At August 16, 2019, 221,218,519 shares of the registrant’s Class A Common Stock, $.01 par value, and 139,537,814 shares of the registrant’s Class B Common Stock, $.01 par value, were outstanding.

 

Documents Incorporated by Reference

 

Document

 

Where Incorporated

 

 

 

Proxy Statement for Annual Meeting of
Stockholders to be held November 15, 2019

 

Part III

 

 

 

 

* Calculated by excluding all shares held by executive officers and directors of registrant and certain trusts without conceding that all such persons are “affiliates” of registrant for purposes of the Federal securities laws.

 

 


Table of Contents

 

THE ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES INC.

 

INDEX TO ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

 

 

 

Page

Part I:

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

2

 

 

 

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

13

 

 

 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

18

 

 

 

Item 2.

Properties

19

 

 

 

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

19

 

 

 

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

19

 

 

 

Part II:

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

20

 

 

 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

22

 

 

 

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

23

 

 

 

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

44

 

 

 

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

44

 

 

 

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

44

 

 

 

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

44

 

 

 

Item 9B.

Other Information

44

 

 

 

Part III:

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

45

 

 

 

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

45

 

 

 

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

45

 

 

 

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

45

 

 

 

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

45

 

 

 

Part IV:

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

46

 

 

 

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

52

 

 

 

Signatures

 

53

 


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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Risk Factors

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such statements include our expectations regarding sales, earnings or other future operations, financial performance or liquidity, our long-term strategy, restructuring and other initiatives, product introductions, geographic regions or channels, information technology initiatives and new methods of sale.  Although we believe that our expectations are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of our knowledge of our business and operations, we cannot assure that actual results will not differ materially from our expectations.  Factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations are described herein; in particular, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information.”  In addition, there is a discussion of risks associated with an investment in our securities, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”

 

Unless the context requires otherwise, references to “we,” “us,” “our” and the “Company” refer to The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and its subsidiaries.

 

PART I

 

Item 1.  Business.

 

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., founded in 1946 by Estée and Joseph Lauder, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products.  Our products are sold in approximately 150 countries and territories under a number of well-known brand names including: Estée Lauder, Clinique, Origins, MžAžC, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Jo Malone London, Aveda and Too Faced.  We are also the global licensee for fragrances, cosmetics and/or related products sold under various designer brand names.  Each brand is distinctly positioned within the market for cosmetics and other beauty products.

 

We believe we are a leader in the beauty industry due to the global recognition of our brand names, our leadership in product innovation, our strong position in key geographic markets and the consistently high quality of our products and “High-Touch” services.  We sell our prestige products principally through limited distribution channels to complement the images associated with our brands.  These channels consist primarily of department stores, specialty-multi retailers, upscale perfumeries and pharmacies and prestige salons and spas.  In addition, our products are sold in our own and authorized freestanding stores, our own and authorized retailer websites, third-party online malls, stores in airports and on cruise ships, in-flight, and duty-free shops.  We believe that our strategy of pursuing selective distribution strengthens our relationships with retailers and consumers, enables our brands to be among the best selling product lines at the stores and online, and heightens the aspirational quality of our brands.

 

For a discussion of recent developments, see Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Operations – Overview.

 

The discussion of our net sales and operating results is based on specific markets in commercially concentrated locations, which may include separate discussions on territories within a country. For segment and geographical area financial information, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 21 – Segment Data and Related Information.

 

We have been controlled by the Lauder family since the founding of our Company.  Members of the Lauder family, some of whom are directors, executive officers and/or employees, beneficially own, directly or indirectly, as of August 16, 2019, shares of Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock having approximately 86% of the outstanding voting power of the Common Stock.

 

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Products

 

GRAPHIC

 

 

Skin Care - Our broad range of skin care products addresses various skin care needs.  These products include moisturizers, serums, cleansers, toners, body care, exfoliators, acne care and oil correctors, facial masks, cleansing devices and sun care products.

 

Makeup - Our full array of makeup products includes lipsticks, lip glosses, mascaras, foundations, eyeshadows, nail polishes and powders.  Many of the products are offered in an extensive palette of shades and colors.  We also sell related items such as compacts, brushes and other makeup tools.

 

Fragrance - We offer a variety of fragrance products.  The fragrances are sold in various forms, including eau de parfum sprays and colognes, as well as lotions, powders, creams, candles and soaps that are based on a particular fragrance.

 

Hair Care - Our hair care products include shampoos, conditioners, styling products, treatment, finishing sprays and hair color products.

 

Other - We also sell ancillary products and services.

 

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Our Brands

 

Given the personal nature of our products and the wide array of consumer preferences and tastes, as well as competition for the attention of consumers, our strategy has been to market and promote our products through distinctive brands seeking to address broad preferences and tastes.  Each brand has a single global image that is promoted with consistent logos, packaging and advertising designed to enhance its image and differentiate it from other brands in the market.  Beauty brands are differentiated by numerous factors, including quality, performance, a particular lifestyle, where they are distributed (e.g., prestige, mass) and price point.  Below is a chart showing most of the brands that we sell and how we view them based on lifestyle and price point:

 

 

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Estée Lauder brand products, which have been sold since 1946, have a reputation for innovation, sophistication and superior quality. Estée Lauder is one of the world’s most renowned beauty brands, producing iconic skin care, makeup and fragrances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We pioneered the marketing of prestige men’s fragrance, grooming and skin care products with the introduction of Aramis products in 1964.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduced in 1968, Clinique skin care and makeup products are all allergy tested and 100% fragrance free and have been designed to address individual skin types and needs. Clinique also offers select fragrances. The skin care and makeup products are based on the research and related expertise of leading dermatologists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lab Series, introduced in 1987, is a series of high performance, specialized skin care solutions uniquely created to improve the look and feel of men’s skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduced in 1990, Origins is known for high-performance natural skin care that is “powered by nature and proven by science.” The brand also sells makeup, fragrance and hair care products and is distributed primarily through online, specialty-multi and free-standing Origins stores. Origins has a license agreement to develop and sell beauty products using the name of Dr. Andrew Weil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MžAžC, the leading brand of professional cosmetics, was created in Toronto, Canada. We completed our acquisition of MžAžC in 1998. The brand’s popularity has grown through a tradition of word-of-mouth endorsement from professional makeup artists, models, photographers and journalists around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 1995, Bobbi Brown is a global prestige beauty brand known for its high quality and undertone-correct makeup and skin care products that celebrate individual beauty and confidence. Reflecting its artistry roots, the brand is focused on creating a teaching and learning community of women around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Acquired in 1995, La Mer is a leading global luxury skin care brand that is available in limited distribution worldwide. The brand is known for its iconic Crème de la Mer moisturizer, serums and lotions, as well as other skin care and foundation products that are created around the original “Miracle Broth.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 1997, Aveda sells high-performance, naturally-derived hair care products, as well as skin care, makeup and fragrance. The brand is known for its innovative plant-based products and its commitment to environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility. It is distributed primarily through top-tier hair salons and direct-to-consumer, via online and Aveda stores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 1999, Jo Malone London is a scented British lifestyle brand with understated elegance, offering enchanted story-telling and high-touch boutique services. The brand’s famous colognes are perfect alone or artfully layered with Fragrance Combining. Jo Malone London embodies the spirit of gifting generosity and inspires emotional elevation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 2006, Bumble and bumble is a New York-based hair care brand that creates high-quality hair care and styling products. The brand is distributed primarily through top-tier salons, including Bumble and bumble’s own flagship salons, specialty-multi retailers and online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 2003, Darphin is a Paris-based, prestige skin care brand known for its high-performance botanical skin care. The brand is distributed primarily through high-end independent pharmacies and online brand and retailer channels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2005, we entered into a license agreement to develop and distribute luxury fragrances and beauty products under the Tom Ford brand name, all shaped with Tom Ford’s vision to be the first true luxury brand of the 21st century encompassing fashion, fragrance and accessories. In the same vein as the fashion brand, Tom Ford Beauty exudes seductive modern-day glamour and includes luxury fragrance, color cosmetics, men’s grooming products and skin care products for discerning consumers globally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 2010, Smashbox Cosmetics is a Los Angeles-based, photo studio-inspired makeup brand with high performance products created for our consumer’s everyday life in the spotlight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Launched in 2012, AERIN is a luxury lifestyle beauty and fragrance brand inspired by the signature style of its founder, Aerin Lauder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 2014, Le Labo is a sensory and experiential lifestyle brand, deeply rooted in the craft of slow perfumery. Born in Grasse, France and raised in downtown NYC, it offers hand-crafted and personalized fragrances, as well as ‘alternative’ and genuine experiences celebrating craftsmanship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 2015, Les Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle is a collection of exclusive, sophisticated, ultraluxury fragrances crafted by some of the world’s most talented perfumers and published by the brand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 2015, GLAMGLOW started as a behind-the-scenes Hollywood secret to instant glow. The brand is known for bold, sensorial products that deliver instant results, and its unconventional philosophy that high performance skin care should also be fun and sexy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 2016, By Kilian is a prestige fragrance brand that embodies timeless sophistication and modern luxury.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 2016, BECCA is the makeup brand known for its complexion products and iconic glow. The brand is committed to inclusivity and has shades for the lightest to darkest skin tones. Its formulas harness innovative light technology to provide a range of glow from start to finish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquired in 2016, Too Faced is a serious makeup brand that knows how to have fun. The brand is unabashedly pink, pretty and feminine with a playful wink that is beloved for its high-quality formulas, cheeky product names and distinctive packaging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under exclusive global license arrangements with Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Michael Kors and Ermenegildo Zegna, we manage a diversified designer fragrance portfolio.

 

 

 

 

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In addition to the brands described above, we manufacture and sell products under the Prescriptives, RODIN olio lusso and FLIRT! brands.  We also develop and sell products under a license from Kiton.  Our license agreement with Tory Burch for bath and body products will expire in December 2019, and we have certain rights after such expiration to continue selling Tory Burch products for a limited time.

 

Our “heritage brands” are Estée Lauder, Clinique and Origins.  Our “makeup artist brands” are MžAžC and Bobbi Brown.  Our “luxury brands” are La Mer, Jo Malone London, Tom Ford, AERIN, RODIN olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and By Kilian.  Our “designer fragrances” are sold under the Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Michael Kors, Kiton and Ermenegildo Zegna brand names, which we license from their respective owners.

 

Distribution

 

We sell our products primarily through limited distribution channels that complement the luxury image and prestige status of our brands.  These channels consist primarily of department stores, specialty-multi retailers, upscale perfumeries and pharmacies and prestige salons and spas.  In addition, our products are sold in freestanding stores that are operated either by us or by authorized third parties, through our own and third-party operated e-commerce websites and websites of our authorized retailers, in various travel retail locations such as stores in airports and on cruise ships, in-flight and duty-free shops, and certain products are sold in self-select outlets.  Our practice is to accept returns of our products from customers if properly requested and approved.

 

In fiscal 2019, we continued to strategically open new points of distribution globally, and exited certain locations when appropriate.

 

As of June 30, 2019, we operated approximately 1,500 freestanding stores.  Most are operated under a single brand name, such as MžAžC, Jo Malone London, Aveda or Origins.  There are also more than 800 Company-branded freestanding stores around the world operated by authorized third parties, primarily in Europe, the Middle East & Africa.

 

Products from most of our brands are sold online through Company-owned and operated e-commerce and m-commerce sites, through various sites operated by authorized retailers and through third-party online malls.  These sites and/or malls are in approximately 50 countries.  While today a majority of these online sales are generated in the United States, the United Kingdom and China, we have additional opportunity to expand online sales globally.

 

We maintain dedicated sales teams that manage our retail accounts.  We have wholly-owned operations in over 50 countries, and two controlling interests that operate in several countries, through which we market, sell and distribute our products.  In certain countries, we sell our products through carefully selected distributors that share our commitment to protecting the image and position of our brands.  In addition, we sell certain products in select domestic and international U.S. military exchanges.  For information regarding our net sales and long-lived assets by geographic region, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 21 – Segment Data and Related Information.

 

Customers

 

Our strategy is to build strong relationships globally with select retailers, as well as with our consumers directly through freestanding stores, e-commerce sites and social media.  Senior management works with executives of our major retail accounts on a regular basis, and we believe we are viewed as an important supplier to these customers.

 

Marketing

 

Our strategy to market and promote our products begins with our well-diversified portfolio of more than 25 distinctive brands across four product categories.  Our portfolio can be deployed in multiple distribution channels, key travel corridors and geographies where our global reputation and awareness of our brands benefit us.  Our geographic and distribution channel diversity allows us to engage local consumers across an array of developed and emerging markets by emphasizing products and services with the greatest local relevance, inclusiveness and appeal.  This strategy is built around “Bringing the Best to Everyone We Touch.”  Our founder, Mrs. Estée Lauder, formulated this unique marketing philosophy to provide “High-Touch” service and high quality products as the foundation for a solid and loyal consumer base.  Our “High-Touch” approach is demonstrated through our integrated consumer engagement models that leverage our product specialists and technology to provide the consumer with a distinct and truly personalized experience that can include personal consultations with beauty advisors, in person or online, who demonstrate and educate the consumer on product usage and application.  As our business has grown, we have further evolved our marketing philosophy to encompass “High-Touch,” which focuses on building a personalized consumer experience through targeted digital media and tailored trial-to-loyalty pathways.  We plan to continue to leverage our core strengths, including the quality of our products, our “High-Touch” consumer engagement and a diversified portfolio of brands, channels and geographies.

 

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Our marketing strategies vary by brand, local market and distribution channel.  We have a diverse portfolio of brands, and we employ different engagement models suited to each brand’s equity, distribution, product focus, understanding of the core consumer and local relevance.  This enables us to elevate the consumer experience as we attract new consumers, create trial, build loyalty, drive consumer advocacy and address the transformation of consumer shopping behaviors.  Our marketing planning approach leverages local insights to optimize allocation of resources across different media outlets and retail touch points to resonate with our most discerning consumers most effectively.  This includes strategically deploying our brands and tailoring product assortments and communications to fit local tastes and preferences in cities and neighborhoods.  Most of our creative marketing work is done by in-house teams, in collaboration with external resources, that design and produce the sales materials, social media strategies, advertisements and packaging for products in each brand.  For a number of products, we create and deploy 360° integrated consumer engagement programs.  We build brand equity and drive traffic to retail locations and to our own and authorized retailers’ websites through digital and social media, magazines and newspapers, television, billboards in cities and airports, and direct mail and email.  In addition, we seek editorial coverage for our brands and products in digital and social media and print, to drive influencer amplification.

 

We are increasing our brand awareness and sales through our strategic emphasis on technology, by continuing to elevate our digital presence encompassing e-commerce and m-commerce, as well as digital, social media and influencer marketing.  We are investing in new analytical capabilities to promote a more personalized experience across our distribution channels.  We continue to innovate to better meet consumer online shopping preferences (e.g., how-to videos, ratings and reviews and mobile phone and tablet applications), support e-commerce and m-commerce businesses via digital and social marketing activities designed to build brand equity and “High-Touch” consumer engagement, in order to continue to offer unparalleled service and set the standard for prestige beauty shopping online.  We also support our authorized retailers to strengthen their e-commerce businesses and drive sales of our brands on their websites.  We have opportunities to expand our brand portfolio online around the world, and we are investing in and testing new omnichannel concepts in the United States, China and other markets to increase brand loyalty by better serving consumers as they shop across channels and travel corridors.  We have dedicated resources to implement creative, coordinated, brand-enhancing strategies across all online activities to increase our direct access to consumers.

 

Promotional activities and in-store displays are designed to attract new consumers, build demand and loyalty and introduce existing consumers to other product offerings from the respective brands.  Our marketing efforts also benefit from cooperative advertising programs with some retailers, some of which are supported by coordinated promotions, such as sampling programs, including purchase with purchase and gift with purchase, and we continue to believe that the quality and perceived benefits of sample products have been effective inducements to purchases by new and existing consumers.  Such activities attract consumers to our counters and websites and keep existing consumers engaged.  Our marketing and sales executives spend considerable time in the field meeting with consumers, retailers, beauty advisors and makeup artists at the points of sale to enable us to offer a seamless experience across channels of distribution.

 

Information Technology

 

Information technology supports all aspects of our business, including product development, marketing, sales, order processing, production, distribution and finance.  We continue to maintain and enhance our information technology systems in alignment with our long-term strategy.  An increasing portion of our global information technology infrastructure is cloud-based.  This allows for a more scalable platform to support current and future requirements and improves our agility and flexibility to respond to the demands of the business by leveraging more advanced technologies.

 

We recognize that technology presents opportunities for competitive advantage, and we continue to invest in new capabilities across various aspects of our business.  During fiscal 2019, we deployed capabilities to enhance data analytics, launched new marketing capabilities to drive deeper consumer engagement and elevated the in-store experience through innovative technologies.  Over the next few years, we plan to expand our seamless omni-retail capabilities, create manufacturing and distribution facilities of the future powered by technology and utilize predictive analytics to optimize our supply and demand planning.

 

Research and Development

 

We believe that we are an industry leader in the development of new products.  Our research and development group, which includes scientists, engineers and other employees involved in product innovation and packaging design and development, works closely with our marketing and product development teams and third-party suppliers to generate ideas, develop new products and product-line extensions, create new packaging concepts, and improve, redesign or reformulate existing products.  In addition, these research and development personnel provide ongoing technical assistance and know-how to quality assurance and manufacturing personnel on a worldwide basis, to ensure consistent global standards for our products and to deliver products that meet or exceed consumer expectations.  The research and development group has long-standing working relationships with several U.S. and international medical and educational facilities, which supplement internal capabilities.  Members of the research and development group are also responsible for regulatory compliance matters.  As our business continues to grow globally, and to satisfy the demand for locally relevant consumer products, we have increased our focus on innovation in Asia/Pacific, especially in China, as well as in Korea and Japan.

 

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Our research and development costs totaled $202 million, $181 million and $179 million in fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively, and are expensed as incurred.  As of June 30, 2019, we had approximately 850 employees engaged in research and development activities.  We maintain research and development programs at certain of our principal facilities and facilities dedicated to performing research and development, see Item 2. Properties.

 

We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, and do not ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.

 

Manufacturing, Warehousing and Raw Materials

 

We manufacture our products primarily in the United States, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada.  We continue to streamline our manufacturing processes and identify sourcing opportunities to improve innovation, increase efficiencies, minimize our impact on the environment and reduce costs.  Our plants are modern, and our manufacturing processes are substantially automated.  While we believe that our network of manufacturing facilities and third-party manufacturers is sufficient to meet current and reasonably anticipated manufacturing requirements, we continue to implement improvements in capacity, technology, and productivity and align our manufacturing with regional sales demand.  From time to time, demand changes may challenge our capacity for certain subcategories on a short-term basis, but we believe that this will not impact our ability to meet our annual or longer-term strategic objectives.  To capitalize on innovation and other supply chain benefits, we also continue to utilize a network of third-party manufacturers on a global basis.

 

We have established a global distribution network designed to meet the changing demands of our customers while maintaining service levels.  We are continuously evaluating and adjusting this physical distribution network.  We have established regional distribution centers, including those maintained by third parties, strategically positioned throughout the world in order to facilitate efficient delivery of our products to our customers.

 

The principal raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are essential oils, alcohols and specialty chemicals.  We also purchase packaging components that are manufactured to our design specifications.  Procurement of materials for all manufacturing facilities is generally made on a global basis through our Global Supplier Relations function.  We review our supplier base periodically with the specific objectives of improving quality, increasing innovation and speed-to-market and reducing costs.  In addition, we focus on supply sourcing within the region of manufacture to allow for improved supply chain efficiencies.  Some of our products rely on a single or limited number of suppliers; however, we believe that our portfolio of suppliers has adequate resources and facilities to overcome most unforeseen interruptions of supply.  In the past, we have been able to obtain an adequate supply of essential raw materials and currently believe we have adequate sources of supply for virtually all components of our products.

 

We are continually benchmarking the performance of our supply chain and augment our supply base and adjust our distribution networks and manufacturing footprint based upon the changing needs of the business.  As we integrate acquired brands, we continually seek new ways to leverage our production and sourcing capabilities to improve our overall supply chain performance.

 

Competition

 

There is significant competition within each market where our skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products are sold.  Brand recognition, product quality and effectiveness, distribution channels, accessibility, and price point are some of the factors that impact consumers’ choices among competing products and brands.  Marketing, merchandising, in-store experiences and demonstrations, and new product innovations also have an impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions.  With our portfolio of diverse brands sold in a variety of channels, we are one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products.

 

We compete against a number of global and local companies.  Some of our competitors are large, well-known, multinational manufacturers and marketers of skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, most of which market and sell their products under multiple brand names.  Our competitors include L’Oreal S.A.; Unilever; Procter & Gamble; LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton; Shiseido Company, Ltd.; Coty, Inc.; Beiersdorf; Chanel S.A.; Kao Corp; and Amorepacific Corp.  We also face competition from a number of independent brands, some of which are backed by private-equity investors, as well as some retailers that have their own beauty brands.  Certain of our competitors also have ownership interests in retailers that are customers of ours.

 

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Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights

 

We own the trademark rights used in connection with the manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of our products both in the United States and in the other principal countries where such products are sold, including Estée Lauder, Clinique, Aramis, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, MžAžC, Bobbi Brown, La Mer, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Darphin, Smashbox, Le Labo, RODIN olio lusso, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, GLAMGLOW, By Kilian, BECCA and Too Faced and the names of many of the products sold under these brands.  We are the exclusive worldwide licensee for fragrances, cosmetics and/or related products for Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Kiton, Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Dr. Andrew Weil, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN and Tory Burch.  For further discussion on license arrangements, including their duration, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 2 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies – License Arrangements.  We protect our trademarks in the United States and significant markets worldwide.  We consider the protection of our trademarks to be important to our business.

 

A number of our products incorporate patented, patent-pending or proprietary technology.  In addition, several products and packaging for such products are covered by design patents or copyrights.  While we consider these patents and copyrights, and the protection thereof, to be important, no single patent or copyright, or group of patents or copyrights, is considered material to the conduct of our business.

 

Employees

 

At June 30, 2019, we had approximately 48,000 full-time employees worldwide (including demonstrators at points of sale who are employed by us).  We have no employees in the United States that are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.  A limited number of employees outside of the United States are covered by a works council agreement or other syndicate arrangements.

 

Government Regulation

 

We and our products are subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, as well as by various other federal, state, local and international regulatory authorities and the regulatory authorities in the countries in which our products are produced or sold.  Such regulations principally relate to the ingredients, manufacturing, labeling, packaging, marketing, advertising, shipment, disposal and safety of our products.  We believe that we are in substantial compliance with such regulations, as well as with applicable federal, state, local and international and other countries’ rules and regulations governing the discharge of materials hazardous to the environment or that relate to climate change.  There are no significant capital expenditures for regulated environmental control or climate change matters either planned in the current year or expected in the near future.

 

Seasonality

 

Our results of operations in total, by region and by product category, are subject to seasonal fluctuations, with net sales in the first half of the fiscal year typically being slightly higher than in the second half of the fiscal year.  The higher net sales in the first half of the fiscal year are attributable to the increased levels of purchasing by retailers for the holiday selling season.  Fluctuations in net sales and operating income in total and by geographic region and product category in any fiscal quarter may be attributable to the level and scope of new product introductions or the particular retail calendars followed by our customers that are retailers, which may impact their order placement and receipt of goods.  Additionally, gross margins and operating expenses are impacted on a quarter-by-quarter basis by variations in our launch calendar and the timing of promotions, including purchase with purchase and gift with purchase promotions.

 

Availability of Reports

 

We make available financial information, news releases and other information on our website: www.elcompanies.com.  Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and other reports, as well as any amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, are available free of charge via the EDGAR database at www.sec.gov or our website, as soon as reasonably practicable after we file such reports and amendments with, or furnish them to, the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Stockholders may also contact Investor Relations at 767 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10153 or call 800-308-2334 to obtain a hard copy of these reports without charge.

 

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Corporate Governance Guidelines and Code of Conduct

 

The Board of Directors has developed corporate governance practices to help it fulfill its responsibilities to stockholders in providing general direction and oversight of management.  These practices are set forth in our Corporate Governance Guidelines.  We also have a Code of Conduct (“Code”) applicable to all employees, officers and directors of the Company, including the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer and other senior financial officers.  These documents and any waiver of a provision of the Code granted to any senior officer or director or any material amendment to the Code may be found in the “Investors” section of our website: www.elcompanies.com under the heading “Corporate Governance.”  The charters for the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee may be found in the same location on our website.  Stockholders may also contact Investor Relations at 767 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10153 or call 800-308-2334 to obtain a hard copy of these documents without charge.

 

Information about our Executive Officers*

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position(s) Held

John Demsey

 

63

 

Executive Group President

Fabrizio Freda

 

61

 

President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director

Carl Haney

 

56

 

Executive Vice President, Global Research and Development, Corporate Product Innovation, Package Development

Jane Hertzmark Hudis

 

59

 

Group President

Leonard A. Lauder

 

86

 

Chairman Emeritus and a Director

Ronald S. Lauder

 

75

 

Chairman of Clinique Laboratories, LLC and a Director

William P. Lauder

 

59

 

Executive Chairman and a Director

Sara E. Moss

 

72

 

Vice Chairman and General Counsel

Michael O’Hare

 

51

 

Executive Vice President – Global Human Resources

Gregory F. Polcer

 

64

 

Executive Vice President – Global Supply Chain

Cedric Prouvé

 

59

 

Group President – International

Tracey T. Travis

 

57

 

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Alexandra C. Trower

 

54

 

Executive Vice President – Global Communications

 

*as of August 16, 2019

 

All of the executive officers named above have been employees of the Company for more than five years.

 

Information about our Board of Directors*

 

Name

 

Principal Occupation or Employment

Charlene Barshefsky

 

Senior International Partner, WilmerHale, a law firm

Rose Marie Bravo, CBE

 

Retail and Marketing Consultant

Wei Sun Christianson

 

Managing Director and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Asia Pacific
Chief Executive Officer of China at Morgan Stanley, a global financial services firm

Lynn Forester de Rothschild

 

Chair, E.L. Rothschild LLC, a private investment company

Fabrizio Freda

 

President and Chief Executive Officer, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Paul J. Fribourg

 

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Continental Grain Company, an international agribusiness and investment company

Irvine O. Hockaday, Jr.

 

Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Jennifer Hyman

 

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rent the Runway, Inc., a company that rents designer apparel and accessories to women

Jane Lauder

 

Global Brand President, Clinique

Leonard A. Lauder

 

Chairman Emeritus, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Ronald S. Lauder

 

Chairman, Clinique Laboratories, LLC

William P. Lauder

 

Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Richard D. Parsons

 

Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners LLC, a global private equity and investment firm, and co-founder and partner of Imagination Capital LLC, a venture capital firm

Barry S. Sternlicht

 

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Starwood Capital Group, a privately-held global investment firm

Jennifer Tejada

 

Chief Executive Officer, PagerDuty, Inc., a digital operations management platform

Richard F. Zannino

 

Managing Director, CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC, a private equity firm

 

*as of August 16, 2019

 

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

 

There are risks associated with an investment in our securities.  Please consider the following risks and all of the other information in this annual report on Form 10-K and in our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  Our business may also be adversely affected by risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial.  If any of the events contemplated by the following discussion of risks should occur or other risks arise or develop, our business, which includes our prospects, financial condition and results of operations, the trading prices of our securities and our reputation, may be adversely affected.

 

The beauty business is highly competitive, and if we are unable to compete effectively our results will suffer.

 

We face vigorous competition from companies throughout the world, including multinational consumer product companies.  Some of these competitors have greater resources than we do and others are newer companies (some backed by private-equity investors) competing in distribution channels where we are less represented.  In some cases, our competitors may be able to respond to changing business and economic conditions more quickly than us.  Competition in the beauty business is based on a variety of factors including pricing of products, innovation, perceived value, service to the consumer, promotional activities, advertising, special events, new product introductions, e-commerce and m-commerce initiatives and other activities.  It is difficult for us to predict the timing and scale of our competitors’ actions in these areas.

 

Our ability to compete also depends on the continued strength of our brands, our ability to attract and retain key talent and other personnel, the efficiency of our manufacturing facilities and distribution network, and our ability to maintain and protect our intellectual property and those other rights used in our business.  Our Company has a well-recognized and strong reputation that could be negatively impacted by social media and many other factors.  If our reputation is adversely affected, our ability to attract and retain customers and consumers could be impacted.  In addition, certain of our key retailers around the world market and sell competing brands or are owned or otherwise affiliated with companies that market and sell competing brands.  Our inability to continue to compete effectively in key countries around the world could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Our inability to anticipate and respond to market trends and changes in consumer preferences could adversely affect our financial results.

 

Our continued success depends on our ability to anticipate, gauge and react in a timely and cost-effective manner to changes in consumer tastes for skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, attitudes toward our industry and brands, as well as to where and how consumers shop.  We must continually work to develop, manufacture and market new products, maintain and adapt our “High-Touch” services to existing and emerging distribution channels, maintain and enhance the recognition of our brands, achieve a favorable mix of products, successfully manage our inventories, and modernize and refine our approach as to how and where we market and sell our products.  While we devote considerable effort and resources to shape, analyze and respond to consumer preferences, we recognize that consumer tastes cannot be predicted with certainty and can change rapidly.  The issue is compounded by the increasing use of digital and social media by consumers and the speed by which information and opinions are shared.  If we are unable to anticipate and respond to sudden challenges that we may face in the marketplace, trends in the market for our products and changing consumer demands and sentiment, our financial results will suffer.  In addition, from time to time, sales growth or profitability may be concentrated in a relatively small number of our brands, channels or countries.  If such a situation persists or a number of brands, channels or countries fail to perform as expected, there could be a material adverse effect on our business.

 

In key markets, such as the United States, we have seen a decline in retail traffic in some of our department store customers and certain of our freestanding stores.  We are seeing the emergence of strong e- and m-commerce platforms (both in mass and prestige distribution) that are impacting our business.  Consolidation or liquidation in the retail trade, from these or other factors, may result in us becoming increasingly dependent on key retailers and could result in an increased risk related to the concentration of our customers.  A severe, adverse impact on the business operations of our customers could have a corresponding material adverse effect on us.  If one or more of our largest customers change their strategies (including pricing or promotional activities), or if our relationship with any large customer is changed or terminated for any reason, there could be a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Our future success depends, in part, on our ability to achieve our long-term strategy.

 

Achieving our long-term strategy will require investment in new capabilities, brands, categories, distribution channels, supply chain facilities, technologies and emerging and more mature geographic markets.  These investments may result in short-term costs without any current sales and, therefore, may be dilutive to our earnings.  In addition, we may dispose of or discontinue select brands or streamline operations and incur costs or restructuring and other charges in doing so.  Although we believe that our strategy will lead to long-term growth in sales and profitability, we may not realize the anticipated benefits.  The failure to realize benefits, which may be due to our inability to execute plans, global or local economic conditions, competition, changes in the beauty industry and the other risks described herein, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

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Acquisitions may expose us to additional risks.

 

We continuously review acquisition and strategic investment opportunities that would expand our current product offerings, our distribution channels, increase the size and geographic scope of our operations or otherwise offer growth and operating efficiency opportunities.  There can be no assurance that we will be able to identify suitable candidates or consummate these transactions on favorable terms.  If required, the financing for these transactions could result in an increase in our indebtedness, dilute the interests of our stockholders or both.  The purchase price for some acquisitions may include additional amounts to be paid in cash in the future, a portion of which may be contingent on the achievement of certain future operating results of the acquired business.  If the performance of any such acquired business exceeds such operating results, then we may incur additional charges and be required to pay additional amounts.

 

Acquisitions including strategic investments or alliances entail numerous risks, which may include:

 

·                  difficulties in integrating acquired operations or products, including the loss of key employees from, or customers of, acquired businesses;

 

·                  diversion of managements attention from our existing businesses;

 

·                  adverse effects on existing business relationships with suppliers and customers;

 

·                  adverse impacts of margin and product cost structures different from those of our current mix of business; and

 

·                  risks of entering distribution channels, categories or markets in which we have limited or no prior experience.

 

Our failure to successfully complete the integration of any acquired business or to achieve the long-term plan for such business, as well as any other adverse consequences associated with our acquisition and investment activities, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Completed acquisitions typically result in additional goodwill and/or an increase in other intangible assets on our balance sheet.  We are required at least annually, or as facts and circumstances exist, to test goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite lives to determine if impairment has occurred.  If the testing performed indicates that impairment has occurred, we are required to record a non-cash impairment charge for the difference between the carrying value of the goodwill or other intangible assets with indefinite lives and the implied fair value of the goodwill or the fair value of other intangible assets with indefinite lives in the period the determination is made.  We cannot accurately predict the amount and timing of any impairment of assets.  Should the value of goodwill or other intangible assets become impaired, there could be a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Our business could be negatively impacted by corporate citizenship and sustainability matters.

 

There is an increased focus from certain investors, customers, consumers, employees, and other stakeholders concerning corporate citizenship and sustainability matters.  From time to time, we announce certain initiatives, including goals, regarding our focus areas, which include environmental matters, packaging, responsible sourcing and social investments.  We could fail, or be perceived to fail, in our achievement of such initiatives or goals, or we could fail in accurately reporting our progress on such initiatives and goals.  In addition, we could be criticized for the scope of such initiatives or goals or perceived as not acting responsibly in connection with these matters.  Our business could be negatively impacted by the matters discussed above.  Any such matters, or related corporate citizenship and sustainability matters, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

A general economic downturn, or sudden disruption in business conditions may affect consumer purchases of discretionary items and/or the financial strength of our customers that are retailers, which could adversely affect our financial results.

 

The general level of consumer spending is affected by a number of factors, including general economic conditions, inflation, interest rates, energy costs, and consumer confidence generally, all of which are beyond our control.  Consumer purchases of discretionary items tend to decline during recessionary periods, when disposable income is lower, and may impact sales of our products.  A decline in consumer purchases of discretionary items also tends to impact our customers that are retailers.  We generally extend credit to a retailer based on an evaluation of its financial condition, usually without requiring collateral.  However, the financial difficulties of a retailer could cause us to curtail or eliminate business with that customer.  We may also assume more credit risk relating to the receivables from that retailer.  Our inability to collect receivables from our largest customers or from a group of customers could have a material adverse effect on our business.  If a retailer was to liquidate, we may incur additional costs if we choose to purchase the retailer’s inventory of our products to protect brand equity.

 

In addition, sudden disruptions in business conditions, for example, from events such as a pandemic, or other local or global health issues, conflicts around the world, or as a result of a terrorist attack, retaliation or similar threats, or as a result of adverse weather conditions, climate changes or seismic events, can have a short-term and, sometimes, long-term impact on consumer spending.

 

Events that impact consumers’ willingness or ability to travel or purchase our products while traveling may impact our business, including travel retail, a significant contributor to our overall results, and our strategy to market and sell products to international travelers at their destinations.

 

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A downturn in the economies of, or continuing recessions in, the countries where we sell our products or a sudden disruption of business conditions in those countries could adversely affect consumer confidence, the financial strength of our retailers and our sales and profitability.  We are also cautious of foreign currency movements, including their impact on tourism.  Additionally, we continue to monitor the effects of the global macroeconomic environment; social and political issues; regulatory matters, including the imposition of tariffs; geopolitical tensions; and global security issues.

 

Volatility in the financial markets and a related economic downturn in key markets or markets generally throughout the world could have a material adverse effect on our business.  While we currently generate significant cash flows from our ongoing operations and have access to global credit markets through our various financing activities, credit markets may experience significant disruptions.  Deterioration in global financial markets or an adverse change in our credit ratings could make future financing difficult or more expensive.  If any financial institutions that are parties to our undrawn revolving credit facility or other financing arrangements, such as foreign exchange or interest rate hedging instruments, were to declare bankruptcy or become insolvent, they may be unable to perform under their agreements with us.  This could leave us with reduced borrowing capacity or unhedged against certain foreign currency or interest rate exposures which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Changes in laws, regulations and policies that affect our business could adversely affect our financial results.

 

Our business is subject to numerous laws, regulations and policies around the world.  Changes in these laws, regulations and policies, including the interpretation or enforcement thereof, that affect our business could adversely affect our financial results.  These changes include accounting standards, laws and regulations relating to tax matters, trade, data privacy (e.g., General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)), anti-corruption, advertising, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, customs matters, product registration, ingredients, chemicals, packaging, selective distribution, environmental or climate change matters.

 

We are involved, and may become involved in the future, in disputes and other legal or regulatory proceedings that could adversely affect our financial results.

 

We are, and may in the future become, party to litigation, other disputes or regulatory proceedings.  In general, claims made by us or against us in litigation, disputes or other proceedings can be expensive and time consuming to bring or defend against and could result in settlements, injunctions or damages that could significantly affect our business.  We are currently vigorously contesting certain of these claims.  However, it is not possible to predict the final resolution of the litigation, disputes or proceedings to which we currently are or may in the future become party to, and the impact of certain of these matters on our business could be material.

 

Government reviews, inquiries, investigations and actions could harm our business.

 

As we operate in various locations around the world, our operations in certain countries are subject to significant governmental scrutiny and may be adversely impacted by the results of such scrutiny.  The regulatory environment with regard to our business is evolving, and officials often exercise broad discretion in deciding how to interpret and apply applicable regulations.  From time to time, we may receive formal and informal inquiries from various government regulatory authorities, as well as self-regulatory organizations, about our business and compliance with local laws, regulations or standards.  Any determination that our operations or activities, or the activities of our employees, are not in compliance with existing laws, regulations or standards could negatively impact us in a number of ways, including the imposition of substantial fines, interruptions of business, loss of supplier, vendor or other third-party relationships, termination of necessary licenses and permits, or similar results, all of which could potentially harm our business.  Even if an inquiry does not result in these types of determinations, it potentially could create negative publicity which could harm our business.

 

Our success depends, in part, on the quality, efficacy and safety of our products.

 

Our success depends, in part, on the quality, efficacy and safety of our products.  If our products are found to be defective or unsafe, our product claims are found to be deceptive, or our products otherwise fail to meet our consumers’ expectations, our relationships with customers or consumers could suffer, the appeal of one or more of our brands could be diminished, and we could lose sales and become subject to liability or claims, any of which could result in a material adverse effect on our business.  In addition, third parties may sell counterfeit versions of some of our products.  These counterfeit products may pose safety risks, may fail to meet consumers’ expectations, and may have a negative impact on our business.

 

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Our success depends, in part, on our key personnel.

 

Our success depends, in part, on our ability to retain our key personnel, including our executive officers and senior management team.  The unexpected loss of, or misconduct by, one or more of our key employees could adversely affect our business.  Our success also depends, in part, on our continuing ability to identify, hire, train and retain other highly qualified personnel.  Competition for these employees can be intense.  We may not be able to attract, assimilate or retain qualified personnel in the future, and our failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business.  This risk may be exacerbated by the stresses associated with the implementation of our strategic plan and other initiatives.

 

We are subject to risks related to the global scope of our operations.

 

We operate on a global basis, with a majority of our fiscal 2019 net sales and operating income generated outside the United States.  We maintain offices in over 50 countries and have key operational facilities located inside and outside the United States that manufacture, warehouse or distribute goods for sale throughout the world.  Our global operations are subject to many risks and uncertainties, including:

 

·                  fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and the relative costs of operating in different places, which can affect our results of operations, the value of our foreign assets, the relative prices at which we and competitors sell products in the same markets, the cost of certain inventory and non-inventory items required in our operations, and the relative prices at which we sell our products in different markets;

 

·                  foreign or U.S. laws, regulations and policies, including restrictions on trade, immigration and travel, operations, and investments; currency exchange controls; restrictions on imports and exports, including license requirements; tariffs; and taxes;

 

·                  lack of well-established or reliable legal and administrative systems in certain countries in which we operate;

 

·                  adverse weather conditions and natural disasters; and

 

·                  social, economic and geopolitical conditions, such as terrorist attacks, war or other military action.

 

These risks could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

A disruption in our operations or supply chain could adversely affect our business.

 

As a company engaged in manufacturing and distribution on a global scale, we are subject to the risks inherent in such activities, including industrial accidents, environmental events, strikes and other labor disputes, capacity constraints, disruptions in supply chain or information technology, loss or impairment of key manufacturing sites or suppliers, product quality control, safety, increase in commodity prices and energy costs, licensing requirements and other regulatory issues, as well as natural disasters and other external factors over which we have no control. If such an event were to occur, it could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

We use a wide variety of direct and indirect suppliers of goods and services from around the world.  Some of our products rely on a single or a limited number of suppliers.  Changes in the financial or business condition of our suppliers could subject us to losses or adversely affect our ability to bring products to market.  Further, the failure of our suppliers to deliver goods and services in sufficient quantities, in compliance with applicable standards, and in a timely manner could adversely affect our customer service levels and overall business.  In addition, any increases in the costs of goods and services for our business may adversely affect our profit margins if we are unable to pass along any higher costs in the form of price increases or otherwise achieve cost efficiencies in our operations.

 

Our information technology and websites may be susceptible to cybersecurity breaches, outages and other risks.

 

We rely on information technology (outsourced and in-house) that support our business processes, including product development, marketing, sales, order processing, production, distribution, finance and intracompany communications throughout the world.  We have e-commerce, m-commerce and other Internet websites in the United States and many other countries.  These systems may be susceptible to outages due to fire, floods, power loss, telecommunications failures, break-ins and other events.  Despite the implementation of network security measures, our systems may be vulnerable to constantly evolving cybersecurity threats such as malware, break-ins and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering.  The occurrence of these or other events could disrupt or damage our information technology and adversely affect our business.  Insurance policies that may provide coverage with regard to such events may not cover any or all of the resulting financial losses.

 

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Failure to adequately maintain the security of our electronic and other confidential information could materially adversely affect our business.

 

We are dependent upon automated information technology processes.  As part of our normal business activities, we collect and store certain information that is confidential, proprietary or otherwise sensitive, including personal information with respect to customers, consumers and employees.  We may share some of this information with vendors who assist us with certain aspects of our business.  Moreover, the success of our e-commerce and m-commerce operations depends upon the secure transmission of confidential and personal data over public networks, including the use of cashless payments.  Any failure on the part of us or our vendors to maintain the security of our confidential data and personal information, including via the penetration of our network security and the misappropriation of confidential and personal information, could result in business disruption, damage to our reputation, financial obligations to third parties, fines, penalties, regulatory proceedings and private litigation with potentially large costs, and also result in deterioration in our employees’, consumers’ and customers’ confidence in us and other competitive disadvantages, and thus could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, a security or data privacy breach could require that we expend significant additional resources to enhance our information security systems and could result in a disruption to our operations.  Furthermore, third parties including our suppliers and customers may also rely on information technology and be subject to such cybersecurity breaches.  These breaches may negatively impact their businesses, which could in turn disrupt our supply chain and/or our business.

 

We are subject to risks associated with our global information technology.

 

Our implementation and maintenance of global information technology (outsourced and in-house), including supply chain and finance systems, human resource management systems, creative asset management and retail operating systems, as well as associated hardware and use of cloud-based models, involve risks and uncertainties.  Failure to implement and maintain these and other systems as planned, in terms of timing, specifications, costs, or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

As we outsource functions, we become more dependent on the entities performing those functions.

 

As part of our long-term strategy, we are continually looking for opportunities to provide essential business services in a more cost-effective manner.  In some cases, this requires the outsourcing of functions or parts of functions that can be performed more effectively by external service providers.  These include certain information technology, finance and human resource functions.  While we believe we conduct appropriate due diligence before entering into agreements with the outsourcing entity, the failure of one or more entities to provide the expected services, provide them on a timely basis or to provide them at the prices we expect may have a material adverse effect on our business.  In addition, if we transition systems to one or more new, or among existing, external service providers, we may experience challenges that could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

The trading prices of our securities periodically may rise or fall based on the accuracy of predictions of our financial performance.

 

Our business planning process is designed to maximize our long-term strength, growth and profitability, not to achieve an earnings target in any particular fiscal quarter.  We believe that this longer-term focus is in the best interests of the Company and our stockholders.  At the same time, however, we recognize that it may be helpful to provide investors with guidance as to our expectations regarding certain aspects of our business.  This could include forecasts of net sales, earnings per share and other financial metrics or projections.  Accordingly, when we announced our year-end financial results for fiscal 2019, we provided guidance as to certain assumptions, including ranges for our expected net sales and earnings per share for the quarter ending September 30, 2019 and the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.  While we generally expect to provide updates to our guidance when we report our results each fiscal quarter, we assume no responsibility to provide additional guidance or update any of our guidance or other forward-looking statements at such times or otherwise.  In addition, the longer-term guidance we provide is based on goals that we believe, at the time guidance is given, are reasonably attainable for growth and performance over a number of years.  Such targets are more difficult to predict than our current quarter and fiscal year expectations.  We historically have paid dividends on our common stock and repurchased shares of our Class A Common Stock.  At any time, we could stop or suspend payment of dividends or stop or suspend our stock repurchase program, and any such action could cause the market price of our stock to decline.

 

In all of our public statements when we make, or update, a forward-looking statement about our business, whether it be about net sales or earnings expectations or expectations regarding restructuring or other initiatives, or otherwise, we accompany such statements directly, or by reference to a public document, with a list of factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those we expect.  Such a list is included, among other places, in our earnings press release and in our periodic filings with the SEC (e.g., in our reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q).  These and other factors may make it difficult for us and for outside observers, such as research analysts, to predict what our earnings or other financial metrics, or business outcomes, will be in any given fiscal quarter or year.

 

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Outside analysts and investors have the right to make their own predictions of our business for any future period.  Outside analysts, however, have access to no more material information about our results or plans than any other public investor, and we do not endorse their predictions as to our future performance.  Nor do we assume any responsibility to correct the predictions of outside analysts or others when they differ from our own internal expectations.  If and when we announce actual results that differ from those that outside analysts or others have been predicting, the market price of our securities could be affected.  Investors who rely on the predictions of outside analysts or others when making investment decisions with respect to our securities do so at their own risk.  We take no responsibility for any losses suffered as a result of such changes in the prices of our securities.

 

We are controlled by the Lauder family.  As a result, the Lauder family has the ability to prevent or cause a change in control or approve, prevent or influence certain actions by us.

 

As of August 16, 2019, members of the Lauder family beneficially own, directly or indirectly, shares of the Company’s Class A Common Stock (with one vote per share) and Class B Common Stock (with 10 votes per share) having approximately 86% of the outstanding voting power of the Common Stock.  In addition, there are four members of the Lauder family who are Company employees and members of our Board of Directors.

 

As a result of their stock ownership and positions at the Company, as well as our dual-class structure, the Lauder family has the ability to exercise significant control and influence over our business, including all matters requiring stockholder approval (e.g., the election of directors, amendments to the certificate of incorporation, and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our Company or its assets) for the foreseeable future.  In addition, if significant stock indices decide to prohibit the inclusion of companies with dual-class stock structures, the price of our Class A Common Stock could be negatively impacted and could become more volatile.

 

We are a “controlled company” within the meaning of the New York Stock Exchange rules and, as a result, are relying on exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements that are designed to provide protection to stockholders of companies that are not “controlled companies.”

 

The Lauder family and their related entities own more than 50% of the total voting power of our common shares and, as a result, we are a “controlled company” under the New York Stock Exchange corporate governance standards.  As a controlled company, we are exempt under the New York Stock Exchange standards from the obligation to comply with certain New York Stock Exchange corporate governance requirements, including the requirements that (1) a majority of our board of directors consists of independent directors; (2) we have a nominating committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities; and (3) we have a compensation committee that is composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities.

 

While we have voluntarily caused our Board to have a majority of independent directors and the written charters of our Nominating and Governance Committee and the Compensation Committee to have the required provisions, we are not requiring our Nominating and Governance Committee and Compensation Committee to be comprised solely of independent directors.  As a result of our use of the “controlled company” exemptions, investors will not have the same protection afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the New York Stock Exchange corporate governance requirements.

 

Item 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments.

 

As of the filing of this annual report on Form 10-K, there were no unresolved comments from the Staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

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Item 2.  Properties.

 

The following table sets forth our principal owned and leased manufacturing, assembly, research and development (“R&D”) and distribution facilities, some of which include contiguous office space, as well as our principal executive offices, as of August 16, 2019.  The leases expire at various times through 2040 subject to certain renewal options.

 

 

The Americas

 

Europe, the Middle
East & Africa

 

Asia/Pacific

 

Owned

 

Leased

 

Owned

 

Leased

 

Owned

 

Leased

 Manufacturing

2

 

2

 

3

 

 

 

 R&D

1

 

2

 

 

 

 

1

 Distribution

 

6

 

2

 

6

 

 

1

 Manufacturing and R&D

1

 

 

 

1

 

 

 Manufacturing and Assembly

 

2

 

 

 

 

 Distribution and Manufacturing

 

 

 

 

 

1

 Principal Executive Offices

 

1

 

 

 

 

Total

4

 

13

 

5

 

7

 

 

3

 

Certain of our manufacturing facilities are utilized primarily for the production of products relating to particular product categories: five for makeup; two for skin care and fragrance; one for skin care and hair care; one for skin care and makeup; one for makeup and fragrance; and one for skin care.  The operations of the remaining facilities are not specific to particular product categories.

 

We consider our properties to be generally in good condition and believe that our facilities are adequate for our operations and provide sufficient capacity to meet anticipated requirements.

 

Item 3.  Legal Proceedings.

 

For a discussion of legal proceedings, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 15 – Commitments and Contingencies.

 

Item 4.  Mine Safety Disclosures.

 

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

 

Item 5.  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters

 

Our Class A Common Stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “EL.”

 

We expect to continue the payment of cash dividends in the future, but there can be no assurance that the Board of Directors will continue to declare them.  On August 16, 2019, a dividend was declared in the amount of $.43 per share on our Class A and Class B Common Stock.  The dividend is payable in cash on September 16, 2019 to stockholders of record at the close of business on August 30, 2019.

 

As of August 16, 2019, there were 7,952 record holders of Class A Common Stock and 13 record holders of Class B Common Stock.

 

Share Repurchase Program

 

We are authorized by the Board of Directors to repurchase shares of our Class A Common Stock in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, depending on market conditions and other factors.  The following table provides information relating to our repurchase of Class A Common Stock during the referenced periods:

 

Period

 

Total Number of
Shares
Purchased
(1)

 

Average Price
Paid Per Share

 

Total Number of
Shares Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced Program

 

Maximum Number
of Shares that May
Yet Be Purchased
Under the
Program
(2)

April 2019

 

1,823

 

$

165.52

 

 

40,008,652

May 2019

 

1,031,408

 

166.40

 

1,031,408

 

38,977,244

June 2019

 

234,394

 

163.72

 

234,394

 

38,742,850

 

 

1,267,625

 

165.90

 

1,265,802

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Includes shares that were repurchased by the Company to satisfy tax withholding obligations upon the payout of certain stock-based compensation arrangements.

 

(2) The Board of Directors has authorized the current repurchase program for up to 80.0 million shares.  The total amount was last increased by the Board on October 31, 2018.  Our repurchase program does not have an expiration date.

 

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Performance Graph

 

The following graph compares the cumulative five-year total stockholder return (stock price appreciation plus dividends) on the Company’s Class A Common Stock with the cumulative total return of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P Consumer Staples Index.  The returns are calculated by assuming an investment of $100 in the Class A Common Stock and in each index on June 30, 2014.

 

 

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Table of Contents

 

Item 6.  Selected Financial Data.

 

The table below summarizes selected financial information.  For further information, refer to the audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto beginning on page F-1 of this report.

 

 

 

Year Ended or at June 30

 

 

 

2019

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

 

 

(In millions, except per share data)

 

Statement of Earnings Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales(1) – (2)

 

$

14,863

 

$

13,683

 

$

11,824

 

$

11,262

 

$

10,780

 

Net earnings attributable to The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.(1) - (7)

 

1,785

 

1,108

 

1,249

 

1,115

 

1,089

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Per Share Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net earnings attributable to The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. per common share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic(1) - (7)

 

$

4.91

 

$

3.01

 

$

3.40

 

$

3.01

 

$

2.87

 

Diluted(1) - (7)

 

4.82

 

2.95

 

3.35

 

2.96

 

2.82

 

Cash dividends declared per common share

 

1.67

 

1.48

 

1.32

 

1.14

 

.92

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets(4) (7)

 

$

13,156

 

$

12,567

 

$

11,568

 

$

9,223

 

$

8,227

 

Total debt (3)

 

3,412

 

3,544

 

3,572

 

2,242

 

1,625

 

                                                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Results include charges associated with restructuring and other activities of $190 million, $193 million, $143 million and $90 million, after tax, or $.51, $.51, $.38, and $.24 per diluted common share in fiscal 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

 

(2) As a result of our July 2014 Strategic Modernization Initiative rollout, approximately $178 million of accelerated orders were recorded as net sales and approximately $127 million as operating income in fiscal 2014 that would have occurred in the fiscal 2015 first quarter, equal to approximately $.21 per diluted common share.

 

(3) In February 2017, we issued 1.80%, 3.15% and 4.15% Senior Notes in a public offering, each with an aggregate principal amount of $500 million.  These Senior Notes are due in February 2020, March 2027 and March 2047, respectively.  We used the net proceeds of the offerings to redeem the Senior Notes due May 15, 2017 and for general corporate purposes.  In May 2016, we issued $450 million of 1.70% Senior Notes due May 10, 2021 and an additional $150 million of our 4.375% Senior Notes due June 15, 2045 in a public offering.  In June 2015, we issued $300 million of 4.375% Senior Notes due June 15, 2045 in a public offering.

 

(4) Fiscal 2019 and 2017 results included $85 million and $23 million, after tax, or $.23 and $.06 per diluted common share related to goodwill and other intangible asset impairments, respectively.

 

(5) Results include gain (loss) associated with changes in fair value of contingent consideration related to certain of our acquisitions of $31 million, $33 million, $44 million, $(8) million and $(6) million, after tax, or $.08, $.09, $.12, $(.02) and $(.02) per diluted common share in fiscal 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

(6) On December 22, 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”), which, among other things, lowered the U.S. corporate statutory income tax rate and established a modified territorial system requiring a mandatory deemed repatriation tax on undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries (the “Transition Tax”).  See Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 8 – Income Taxes for further discussion relating to the TCJA.  Fiscal 2019 results reflect credits (charges) to adjust the TCJA provisional amounts recorded in fiscal 2018 relating to the Transition Tax, the remeasurement of U.S. net deferred tax assets and the foreign withholding taxes recorded in connection with the reversal of its indefinite reinvestment assertion related to certain foreign earnings of $12 million, or $.03 per diluted common share, $(8) million, or $(.02) per diluted common share and $(9) million, or $(.02) per diluted common share, respectively.  Fiscal 2018 results reflect impacts and charges resulting from the TCJA, including the Transition Tax, the remeasurement of U.S. net deferred tax assets and the establishment of a net deferred tax liability related to foreign withholding taxes on certain foreign earnings of $(351) million, or $(.94) per diluted common share, $(53) million, or $(.14) per diluted common share and $(46) million, or $(.12) per diluted common share, respectively.

 

Fiscal 2017 results include $75 million, or $.20 per diluted common share, related to the reversal of a deferred tax asset valuation allowance.  The deferred tax asset and associated valuation allowance related to the accumulated carryforward of excess advertising and promotional expenses.  In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, a favorable change to the tax law in China was enacted that expanded the corporate income tax deduction allowance for advertising and promotional expenses, resulting in this change in realizability of the asset.

 

(7) Fiscal 2019 results include $57 million, after tax, or $.15 per diluted common share, related to a gain on liquidation of an investment in a foreign subsidiary, net.

 

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Table of Contents

 

Item 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

 

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

We manufacture, market and sell beauty products including those in the skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care categories, which are distributed in approximately 150 countries and territories.  The following table is a comparative summary of operating results for fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017 and reflects the basis of presentation described in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 2 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Note 21 – Segment Data and Related Information for all periods presented.  Products and services that do not meet our definition of skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care have been included in the “other” category.

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

 

 

2019

 

2018

 

2017

 

 

 

(In millions)

NET SALES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Product Category:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin Care

 

$

6,551

 

$

5,595

 

$

4,527

 

Makeup

 

5,860

 

5,633

 

5,054

 

Fragrance

 

1,802

 

1,826

 

1,637

 

Hair Care

 

584

 

570

 

539

 

Other

 

69

 

67

 

69

 

 

 

14,866

 

13,691

 

11,826

 

Returns associated with restructuring and other activities

 

(3

)

(8

)

(2

)

Net sales

 

$

14,863

 

$

13,683

 

$

11,824

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Region:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Americas

 

$

4,741

 

$

5,015

 

$

4,819

 

Europe, the Middle East & Africa

 

6,452

 

5,634

 

4,650

 

Asia/Pacific

 

3,673

 

3,042

 

2,357

 

 

 

14,866

 

13,691

 

11,826

 

Returns associated with restructuring and other activities

 

(3

)

(8

)

(2

)

Net sales

 

$

14,863

 

$

13,683

 

$

11,824

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Product Category:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin Care

 

$

1,925

 

$

1,514

 

$

1,019

 

Makeup

 

438

 

549

 

718

 

Fragrance

 

140

 

176

 

117

 

Hair Care

 

39

 

64

 

51

 

Other

 

12

 

9

 

11

 

 

 

2,554

 

2,312

 

1,916

 

Charges associated with restructuring and other activities

 

(241

)

(257

)

(212

)

Operating income

 

$

2,313

 

$

2,055

 

$

1,704

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Region:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Americas

 

$

(194

)

$

211

 

$

286

 

Europe, the Middle East & Africa

 

2,019

 

1,526

 

1,208

 

Asia/Pacific

 

729

 

575

 

422

 

 

 

2,554

 

2,312

 

1,916

 

Charges associated with restructuring and other activities

 

(241

)

(257

)

(212

)

Operating income

 

$

2,313

 

$

2,055

 

$

1,704

 

 

As a result of ongoing organizational developments and changes, including those arising from our Leading Beauty Forward initiative (as described below) and certain transfer pricing adjustments among our geographic regions, we are reassessing how management reviews the operating performance of these regions, including our travel retail business that is currently reflected in Europe, the Middle East & Africa. This reassessment is expected to be completed by the end of our fiscal 2020 first quarter, which could result in a change in how we present the operating results among our geographic regions in future periods.

 

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Table of Contents

 

The following table presents certain consolidated earnings data as a percentage of net sales:

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

 

 

2019

 

2018

 

2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

100.0

%

100.0

%

100.0

%

Cost of sales

 

22.8

 

20.8

 

20.6

 

Gross profit

 

77.2

 

79.2

 

79.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selling, general and administrative

 

59.6

 

62.5

 

63.2

 

Restructuring and other charges

 

1.4

 

1.7

 

1.6

 

Goodwill impairment

 

0.5

 

 

0.2

 

Impairment of other intangible assets

 

0.1

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

 

61.6

 

64.2

 

65.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

15.6

 

15.0

 

14.4

 

Interest expense

 

0.9

 

0.9

 

0.8

 

Interest income and investment income, net

 

0.4

 

0.4

 

0.2

 

Other components of net periodic benefit cost

 

 

 

0.1

 

Other income, net

 

0.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings before income taxes

 

15.5

 

14.5

 

13.7

 

Provision for income taxes

 

3.4

 

6.3

 

3.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net earnings

 

12.1

 

8.2

 

10.6

 

Net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

0.1

 

0.1

 

 

Net earnings attributable to The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

 

12.0

%

8.1

%

10.6

%

 

We continually introduce new products, support new and established products through advertising, merchandising and sampling and phase out existing products that no longer meet the needs of our consumers or our objectives.  The economics of developing, producing, launching, supporting and discontinuing products impact our sales and operating performance each period.  The introduction of new products may have some cannibalizing effect on sales of existing products, which we take into account in our business planning.

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

 

We use certain non-GAAP financial measures, among other financial measures, to evaluate our operating performance, which represent the manner in which we conduct and view our business.  Management believes that excluding certain items that are not comparable from period to period helps investors and others compare operating performance between periods.  While we consider the non-GAAP measures useful in analyzing our results, they are not intended to replace, or act as a substitute for, any presentation included in the consolidated financial statements prepared in conformity with U.S. GAAP.  See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

We operate on a global basis, with the majority of our net sales generated outside the United States.  Accordingly, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates can affect our results of operations.  Therefore, we present certain net sales, operating results and diluted net earnings per common share information excluding the effect of foreign currency rate fluctuations to provide a framework for assessing the performance of our underlying business outside the United States.  Constant currency information compares results between periods as if exchange rates had remained constant period-over-period.  We calculate constant currency information by translating current year results using prior year weighted-average foreign currency exchange rates.  Beginning in fiscal 2019, the Company adopted a new accounting standard related to hedging that resulted in gains/losses on our foreign currency cash flow hedging activities to now be reflected in Net sales, where in prior periods they were reflected in Cost of sales and Selling, general and administrative expenses, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data –Note 11 – Derivative Financial Instruments.  To better assess our performance in a constant currency environment, beginning in fiscal 2019 we are excluding the impact of these hedging activities in our constant currency calculations.  The revised calculation did not have a significant impact on constant currency information presented for prior periods and therefore has not been restated.

 

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Table of Contents

 

Overview

 

We believe that the best way to increase stockholder value is to continue providing superior products and services in the most efficient and effective manner while recognizing consumers’ changing behaviors and shopping preferences.  Accordingly, our long-term strategy has numerous initiatives across geographic regions, product categories, brands, channels of distribution and functions designed to grow our sales, provide cost efficiencies, leverage our strengths and make us more productive and profitable.  We plan to build upon and leverage our history of outstanding creativity and innovation, high quality products and services, and engaging communications while investing for long-term sustainable growth.

 

Our business is focused on prestige beauty, which combines the repeat purchase and relative affordability of consumer goods with the high-quality products and high-touch services of luxury goods. We are solely focused on prestige beauty, yet we are well diversified by brand, product category, geography, channel, consumer segment and price point. Our innovation capabilities, driven by our creativity and inspired by data analytics and consumer insights, allow us to use our highly desirable brand portfolio to capitalize on opportunities in fast growing and profitable areas of prestige beautyWe believe that our broad and inclusive range of prestige product offerings allows us to increase our share of a consumer’s beauty routine and source consumers from brands sold in mass-market distribution.

 

·                  In fiscal 2019, global prestige skin care continued to lead product category growth.  Our skin care business benefited from the enduring strength of hero product lines such as Advanced Night Repair from Estée Lauder and Crème de La Mer from La Mer, as well as recent product launches, the growth in Asia and targeted expanded consumer reach.  The launches of Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex and Micro Essence with Sakura Ferment from Estée Lauder were particularly successful in Asia/Pacific.  During fiscal 2019, we introduced a new level of personalization with Clinique iD, which allows the consumer to create a custom blend of hydration and treatment.

 

·                  Global prestige makeup sales also continued to grow; however, the pace was slower than in prior years.  Our makeup business continued to benefit from growth in hero product lines such as Double Wear from Estée Lauder as well as strong demand for MžAžC and Tom Ford in Asia and the successful launch of the Cushion Compact from La Mer.

 

·                  Our fragrance category continues to benefit from increased sales of our luxury fragrance brands.  New products, such as Honeysuckle and Davana from Jo Malone London and Ombre Leather from Tom Ford, as well as strength in certain existing product lines, have contributed to our success in the category.  The category also benefited from strong growth and targeted expanded consumer reach of Le Labo and By Kilian.  Increased interest in luxury fragrances in China has also helped category growth.  We look for further opportunities to strengthen our business in this category through targeted expanded consumer reach of our luxury brands.

 

·                  In our hair care category, our brands are reaching new consumers globally as we further expanded our presence outside the United States.  During fiscal 2019, Aveda launched Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo and Conditioner and relaunched its popular Shampure and Rosemary Mint lines, which also contributed to the category’s growth.

 

Our global distribution capability and operations allow us to target opportunities wherever consumer demographics and trends are the most attractive.  Our regional organizations, and the expertise of our people there, enable our brands to be more locally and culturally relevant in both product assortment and communications.  We are evolving the way we connect with our consumers in stores, online and where they travel, including by expanding our digital and social media presence and the engagement of global and local influencers to amplify brand or product stories.  We tailor our strategy by market to drive consumer engagement and embrace cultural diversity.  We continuously strengthen our presence in large, image-building core markets, while broadening our presence in emerging markets.

 

·                  In North America, we continue to deploy a number of strategies to accelerate growth, despite a challenging environment especially in brick and mortar retail.  In Latin America, we continue to launch new brands, expand social media outreach and encourage consumers to trade up from mass beauty products.

 

·                  In Europe, the Middle East & Africa, we are expanding the consumer reach of many of our brands, strengthening their digital and social media presence and leveraging our strength in the makeup category to gain share in prestige beauty.

 

·                  In Asia/Pacific, particularly in China, we are leveraging our diversified brand portfolio and expansion on third-party online malls to benefit from the strong consumer demand for prestige beauty.

 

We approach distribution strategically by product category and geographic region and seek to optimize distribution by matching each of our brands with appropriate opportunities while maintaining high productivity per door.  We are expanding our brands in higher growth channels, such as travel retail and online.  We also focus on brand-building retail activities, technology-driven activations and omnichannel capabilities that enhance the luxury experience for consumers.

 

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Table of Contents

 

·                  As part of this strategy, we have built a leadership position in the global travel retail channel, positioning us well to leverage the increasing international passenger traffic.  Travel retail continues to be an important channel for brand building due to the increase in traveling consumers, particularly those from emerging markets, who often experience our brands for the first time while traveling.  We continue to expand our strategic presence in travel retail across duty-free locations primarily in airports, downtown stores, in-flight and cruise ships.  We engage consumers at the airport through compelling pop-up activations in non-traditional commercial areas, and we ensure we have appropriate communication and curated assortments to be relevant to targeted consumer groups. At the same time, travel retail is susceptible to a number of external factors, including fluctuations in currency exchange rates and consumers’ willingness and ability to travel and spend.

 

·                  Online net sales continue to grow strongly on a global basis, and we continue to launch e- and m-commerce sites in new and existing markets directly with our retail customers or on select third-party online malls.  We collaborate with our retailers globally to drive sales of our products on their online sites.  We believe our success in delivering particularly strong online growth is a result of customization of our strategy to meet local market and cultural needs.  We also continue to develop and implement omnichannel concepts to deliver an integrated consumer experience and better serve consumers as they shop across channels.

 

While our multiple engines of growth have enabled us to produce excellent sales growth, we have also transformed our operations, freeing up resources to invest behind further growth opportunities. Our Leading Beauty Forward initiative (described below) has enabled us to cut costs and invest in new capabilities such as digital and data analytics as well as increased advertising.

 

In fiscal 2019, we continued to further integrate corporate citizenship and sustainability into our strategy and business operations. Areas of focus include packaging, ingredient transparency, responsible sourcing, energy and emissions, social investments, employee engagement and employee safety.

 

While our business is performing well overall, we continue to face strong competition globally and economic challenges in certain countries.  We are cautious of the continued decline in retail traffic primarily related to certain brick-and-mortar stores in the United States and the United Kingdom.  This is due to the impact of shifts in consumer preferences as to where and how they shop, as well as adverse macroeconomic conditions in the United Kingdom.  We continue to monitor the geopolitical tensions between the United States and China and the uncertainties caused by the evolving trade policy dispute, which could increase our cost of sales and negatively impact our overall net sales, or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business.  We also continue to monitor the potential implications of the ongoing economic and political uncertainties stemming from the United Kingdom’s anticipated exit from the European Union (i.e. “Brexit”) and continue developing our risk mitigation strategies to address such uncertainties.  These strategies include changes related to regulatory and legislative compliance, assessing alternatives to supply chain routing, revising customer arrangements and analyzing inventory levels.  We are also cautious of foreign currency movements, including their impact on tourism.  Additionally, we continue to monitor the effects of the global macroeconomic environment; social and political issues; regulatory matters, including the imposition of tariffs; geopolitical tensions; and global security issues.

 

We believe we can, to some extent, offset the impact of these challenges by continually developing and pursuing a diversified strategy with multiple engines of growth and accelerating areas of strength among our geographic regions, product categories, brands and channels of distribution.  However, if economic conditions or the degree of uncertainty or volatility worsen, or the adverse conditions previously described are further prolonged, there could be a negative effect on consumer confidence, demand, spending and willingness or ability to travel and, as a result, on our business.  We will continue to monitor these and other risks that may affect our business.

 

Leading Beauty Forward

 

In May 2016, we announced a multi-year initiative (“Leading Beauty Forward,” or the “Program”) to build on our strengths and better leverage our cost structure to free resources for investment to continue our growth momentum.  Leading Beauty Forward is designed to enhance our go-to-market capabilities, reinforce our leadership in global prestige beauty and continue creating sustainable value.  As of June 30, 2019, we concluded the approvals of all major initiatives under Leading Beauty Forward related to the optimization of select corporate functions, supply chain activities, and corporate and regional market support structures, as well as the exit of underperforming businesses, and expect to substantially complete those initiatives through fiscal 2021.  We previously estimated that Leading Beauty Forward would result in related restructuring and other charges totaling between $900 million and $950 million, before taxes.  After concluding the final approvals and reviewing the progress of previously approved initiatives under Leading Beauty Forward that are being implemented, we have revised our estimates for cost approvals under the Program.  Inclusive of approvals from inception through June 30, 2019, we now estimate that Leading Beauty Forward may result in related restructuring and other charges totaling between $950 million and $990 million, before taxes, consisting of employee-related costs, asset write-offs and other costs to implement these initiatives.  As many of our previously approved Leading Beauty Forward initiatives are progressing through their implementation stages, we are revising our previous estimate of annual net benefits of between $350 million and $450 million, before taxes.  After its full implementation, we now expect Leading Beauty Forward to yield annual net benefits, primarily in Selling, general and administrative expenses and, to a lesser extent, Cost of sales, of between $425 million and $475 million, before taxes.  These savings can be used to improve margin, mitigate risk and invest in future growth initiatives.  For additional information about restructuring and other charges, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 7 – Charges Associated with Restructuring and Other Activities.

 

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Annual Impairment Testing

 

We assess goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets at least annually for impairment or more frequently if certain events or circumstances exist.  During fiscal 2019, our Smashbox reporting unit made revisions to its internal forecasts reflecting the continued slowdown of its makeup business driven by ongoing competitive activity and lower than expected growth in key retail channels for the brand.  We concluded that these changes in circumstances triggered the need for an interim impairment review of the Smashbox trademark and the Smashbox reporting unit goodwill.  Accordingly, we performed interim impairment tests as of December 31, 2018 and March 31, 2019.  We concluded that the carrying values of the Smashbox trademark exceeded their estimated fair values, which were determined utilizing a royalty rate to determine discounted projected future cash flows.  As a result, we recognized impairment charges totaling $22 million for the trademark in fiscal 2019.  After adjusting the carrying values of the trademark, we completed interim quantitative impairment tests for goodwill and recorded goodwill impairment charges related to the Smashbox reporting unit totaling $68 million in fiscal 2019.  The key assumptions used to determine the estimated fair value of the reporting unit are predicated on the success of future new product launches, the achievement of international distribution expansion plans, and the realization of cost reduction and other efficiency efforts.  If such plans do not materialize, or if there are further challenges in the business environment in which this reporting unit operates, a resulting change in the key assumptions could have a negative impact on the estimated fair value of the reporting unit, and it is possible we could recognize an additional impairment charge.  As of June 30, 2019, the remaining carrying values of the Smashbox reporting unit goodwill and Smashbox trademark were $72 million and $55 million, respectively.  No further impairment charges were recognized during fiscal 2019.  With the exception of the Smashbox reporting unit, fair values of all reporting units with material goodwill were substantially in excess of their respective carrying values.

 

With regard to trademarks, the fair value of the Smashbox trademark was equal to its carrying value, and the fair values of the Too Faced, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and BECCA trademarks exceeded their carrying values by approximately 7%, 9% and 14%, respectively.  As of June 30, 2019, the carrying values of the Too Faced, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and BECCA trademarks were $525 million, $32 million and $98 million, respectively.  If these reporting units are adversely affected by a softness in the retail environment for their products, or if other business disruptions arise that cause a change to their long-term financial projections, there could be a negative effect on the fair values of the related trademarks, and it is possible we could recognize impairment charges in the future.

 

For additional information, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 6 – Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.

 

Fiscal 2018 as Compared with Fiscal 2017

 

See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Operations of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 for the fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2017 comparative discussion.

 

Fiscal 2019 as Compared with Fiscal 2018

 

NET SALES

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

14,863

 

$

13,683

 

$ Change from prior year

 

1,180

 

1,859

 

% Change from prior year

 

9

%

16

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change from prior year in constant currency

 

11

%

13

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

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The fiscal 2019 increase in reported net sales reflected strong growth in our Europe, the Middle East & Africa and Asia/Pacific regions, as well as continued growth in the skin care and makeup product categories. International net sales growth was driven primarily by increases in China and Hong Kong, which contributed to the continued growth in our online channel (primarily third-party online malls), while growth in our travel retail business continued to benefit from the increase in international passenger traffic, particularly by Chinese travelers.  Skin care net sales reflected growth primarily from Estée Lauder and La Mer products. Net sales increases from Estée Lauder, MžAžC and Tom Ford, drove the net sales growth in our makeup category.  Each of our product categories benefited from targeted expanded consumer reach, new product offerings, and the continued success of certain hero franchises.

 

The fiscal 2019 reported net sales increase was impacted by approximately $371 million of unfavorable foreign currency translation.

 

Returns associated with restructuring and other activities are not allocated to our product categories or geographic regions because they result from activities that are deemed a Company-wide initiative to redesign, resize and reorganize select corporate functions and go-to-market structures.  Accordingly, the following discussions of Net sales by Product Categories and Geographic Regions exclude the fiscal 2019 and 2018 impact of returns associated with restructuring and other activities of approximately $3 million and $8 million, respectively.

 

During the first quarter of fiscal 2019, we adopted Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 606 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers (“ASC 606”).  The adoption of ASC 606 resulted in the deferral of a portion of product sales primarily related to future obligations (i) to provide gift with purchase and purchase with purchase promotional products and (ii) to satisfy customer loyalty program reward obligations, as well as the timing and classification of certain net demonstration payments to and from customers.  The collective impact of the adoption of ASC 606 reduced reported net sales for fiscal 2019 by $49 million.  For further information, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 13 – Revenue Recognition.

 

Product Categories

 

The change in net sales in each product category for fiscal 2019 included the impact of the adoption of ASC 606, which resulted in an increase (reduction) to net sales, as follows:

 

(In millions)

 

Year Ended June 30, 2019

 

Skin care

 

$

(48

)

Makeup

 

10

 

Fragrance

 

(14

)

Hair Care

 

 

Other

 

3

 

Total

 

$

(49

)

 

Skin Care

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

6,551

 

$

5,595

 

$ Change from prior year

 

956

 

1,068

 

% Change from prior year

 

17

%

24

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change from prior year in constant currency

 

20

%

21

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported skin care net sales increased in fiscal 2019, reflecting higher net sales from Estée Lauder and La Mer, combined, of approximately $923 million.  The increase in Estée Lauder net sales was led by growth in China and Hong Kong, reflecting the continued strength of existing product franchises, such as Advanced Night Repair, Perfectionist, Nutritious, Micro Essence and Revitalizing Supreme, and new product launches, such as Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex.  The increase in net sales from La Mer reflected growth from most markets, led by China and Hong Kong, and benefited from the strength in hero products, such as Crème de la Mer and The Concentrate, other existing products, such as The Treatment Lotion, and targeted expanded consumer reach.  The net sales growth from Estée Lauder and La Mer also reflected the increase in Chinese travelers, which led to the brands’ growth in travel retail and department stores, and higher net sales in our online channel in China (primarily third-party online malls).

 

The skin care net sales increase was impacted by approximately $152 million of unfavorable foreign currency translation.

 

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Makeup

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

5,860

 

$

5,633

 

$ Change from prior year

 

227

 

579

 

% Change from prior year

 

4

%

11

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change from prior year in constant currency

 

7

%

9

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported makeup net sales increased in fiscal 2019, reflecting higher net sales from Estée Lauder, MžAžC, Tom Ford and La Mer of approximately $351 million, combined.  The higher net sales from Estée Lauder were primarily due to the success of our Double Wear franchise, Futurist Aqua Brilliance and the Pure Color line of products, which drove higher net sales in China, Hong Kong and Korea, as well as in travel retail.  The net sales increase from MžAžC was driven primarily by our Asia/Pacific region, led by China and Hong Kong, as well as the Middle East.  The higher net sales in Asia/Pacific was primarily due to targeted expanded consumer reach and the continued strength of lip products in the region. The increase in the Middle East reflected a favorable comparison to the prior year due to the rebalancing of inventory.  The increase for MžAžC also reflected higher net sales in our travel retail business, third-party online malls and the specialty-multi channel.  Partially offsetting these increases for the brand were continued declines in the United States primarily due to slower traffic in certain department stores and freestanding stores, as well as lower net sales from the United Kingdom due to overall softness in the makeup category there, continued competitive pressures and adverse macroeconomic conditions.  The net sales increase from Tom Ford was driven by higher net sales of lipstick and eyeshadow products in Asia/Pacific, particularly in China, and our travel retail business, as well as targeted expanded consumer reach.  The higher net sales from La Mer benefited from new products, such as The Luminous Lifting Cushion Foundation, and targeted expanded consumer reach.

 

Partially offsetting these increases were lower net sales from Clinique and Smashbox of approximately $161 million, combined. The decline in net sales from Clinique reflected the continued declines in the United States, particularly in the department store channel, as well as softness in the makeup category and adverse macroeconomic conditions in the United Kingdom.  The decrease in net sales from Smashbox was due primarily to a soft retail environment for our products in the United States, particularly in the specialty-multi and department store channels, reflecting slower retail traffic.

 

The makeup net sales increase was impacted by approximately $161 million of unfavorable foreign currency translation.

 

Fragrance

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

1,802

 

$

1,826

 

$ Change from prior year

 

(24

)

189

 

% Change from prior year

 

(1

)%

12

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change from prior year in constant currency

 

1

%

8

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported fragrance net sales decreased in fiscal 2019, reflecting lower net sales from certain of our designer fragrances and Estée Lauder of approximately $110 million, combined, as well as the impact of ASC 606 noted above.  The lower net sales from certain of our designer fragrances were primarily due to an unfavorable comparison to the prior-year launch of Michael Kors Sexy Ruby in North America, as well as the challenging retail environment in the United Kingdom. The decrease in net sales from Estée Lauder was primarily due to the change in the mix of products included in the brand’s holiday blockbuster promotion.

 

Partially offsetting these decreases were higher net sales from Jo Malone London, Le Labo and Tom Ford, combined, of approximately $81 million.  The increase in net sales from Jo Malone London was driven primarily by growth from our Asia/Pacific region, led by China, due to new product launches and targeted expanded consumer reach, including the brand’s launch on Tmall.  Net sales increased from Le Labo due to the success of existing products and targeted expanded consumer reach globally, which led to strong growth of the brand in our freestanding store and department store channels.  The net sales increase from Tom Ford reflected higher net sales from the Private Blend franchise, particularly Soleil Blanc and Oud Wood, and targeted expanded consumer reach.

 

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Table of Contents

 

The fragrance net sales decrease was impacted by approximately $50 million of unfavorable foreign currency translation.

 

Hair Care

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

584

 

$

570

 

$ Change from prior year

 

14

 

31

 

% Change from prior year

 

2

%

6

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change from prior year in constant currency

 

4

%

4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported hair care net sales increased in fiscal 2019, primarily reflecting growth from Aveda, partially offset by lower net sales from Bumble and bumble due to the softness in the salon and specialty-multi channels in North America.  The higher net sales from Aveda, particularly in our online channel, was primarily driven by the launch of Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo and Conditioner and continued success of certain hero franchises, such as the Rosemary Mint and Shampure lines of products.

 

Geographic Regions

 

The change in net sales in each geographic region for fiscal 2019 included the impact of the adoption of ASC 606, which resulted in an increase (reduction) to net sales, as follows:

 

(In millions)

 

Year Ended June 30, 2019

 

The Americas

 

$

(61

)

Europe, the Middle East & Africa

 

16

 

Asia/Pacific

 

(4

)

Total

 

$

(49

)

 

The Americas

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

4,741

 

$

5,015

 

$ Change from prior year

 

(274

)

196

 

% Change from prior year

 

(5

)%

4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change from prior year in constant currency

 

(5

)%

4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported net sales in The Americas decreased in fiscal 2019, primarily due to lower net sales in the United States of approximately $218 million, driven primarily by MžAžC, Clinique, Smashbox and certain of our designer fragrances, as well as the negative impact of the adoption of ASC 606.  The net sales decreases from MžAžC and Clinique were primarily due to the continued traffic declines in department stores, as well as in MžAžC freestanding stores.  The lower net sales from Smashbox reflected the continued slowdown of its makeup business driven by ongoing competitive activity and lower growth in key retail channels for the brand.  Partially offsetting these decreases were higher net sales from Le Labo and La Mer due to targeted expanded consumer reach.  In addition, net sales in Latin America and Canada, combined, decreased approximately $56 million primarily due to lower net sales from MžAžC and Clinique, particularly in department stores and freestanding stores.

 

The net sales decrease in The Americas included approximately $25 million of unfavorable foreign currency translation.

 

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Europe, the Middle East & Africa

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

6,452

 

$

5,634

 

$ Change from prior year

 

818

 

984

 

% Change from prior year

 

15

%

21

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change from prior year in constant currency

 

18

%

16

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported net sales in Europe, the Middle East & Africa increased in fiscal 2019, primarily reflecting higher net sales from our travel retail business.  Net sales increased in our travel retail business across most brands, led by Estée Lauder, La Mer, MžAžC, Tom Ford and Origins, driven, in part, by an increase in international passenger traffic, particularly by Chinese travelers, as well as strategic investment spend supporting both new and existing products.  Also contributing to the increase were targeted expanded consumer reach and new product offerings, such as Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex.

 

Partially offsetting the net sales increase were lower net sales in certain Western European markets, primarily reflecting challenging environments in Benelux, Germany, France and Iberia, as well as lower net sales in the United Kingdom, primarily driven by competitive pressures and adverse macroeconomic conditions. These decreases were approximately $116 million, combined.

 

The net sales increase in Europe, the Middle East & Africa included approximately $216 million of unfavorable foreign currency translation.

 

Asia/Pacific

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

3,673

 

$

3,042

 

$ Change from prior year

 

631

 

685

 

% Change from prior year

 

21

%

29

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change from prior year in constant currency

 

25

%

25

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported net sales in Asia/Pacific increased in fiscal 2019, reflecting higher net sales in China and Hong Kong of approximately $574 million, combined.  The higher net sales in China, led by Estée Lauder, MžAžC and La Mer, reflected continued growth from the strong demand for skin care and makeup products that benefited virtually every channel, particularly online (primarily third-party online malls), department stores, freestanding stores and specialty-multi.  The net sales growth in Hong Kong, also led by Estée Lauder, La Mer and MžAžC, reflected a strong retail environment due to increased tourism, particularly from Chinese travelers, targeted expanded consumer reach and the continued success of certain hero franchises.

 

The net sales increase in Asia/Pacific included approximately $130 million of unfavorable foreign currency translation.

 

We strategically time our new product launches by geographic market, which may account for differences in regional sales growth.

 

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Table of Contents

 

GROSS MARGIN

 

Gross margin in fiscal 2019 decreased to 77.2% as compared with 79.2% in fiscal 2018.

 

 

 

Fiscal 2019 vs. Fiscal 2018
Favorable (Unfavorable) Basis
Points

 

Mix of business

 

80

 

Obsolescence charges

 

(40

)

Foreign exchange transactions

 

(20

)

Manufacturing costs and other

 

(25

)

Adoption of new accounting standards (ASC 606 and hedge accounting)

 

 

(195

)

Total

 

 

(200

)

 

The decrease in gross margin for fiscal 2019 primarily reflected the net impact of the adoption of recently issued accounting standards.  For more information see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 11 – Derivative Financial Instruments and Note 13 – Revenue Recognition.  The favorable impact from our mix of business primarily reflected favorable changes in the shipments of promotional items, strategic pricing and product category mix, partially offset by the unfavorable impact from new product introductions.

 

OPERATING EXPENSES

 

Operating expenses as a percentage of net sales in fiscal 2019 decreased to 61.6% as compared with 64.2% in fiscal 2018.

 

 

 

Fiscal 2019 vs. Fiscal 2018
Favorable (Unfavorable) Basis
Points

 

General and administrative expenses

 

20

 

Advertising, merchandising, sampling and product development

 

(110

)

Selling

 

150

 

Adoption of new accounting standard (ASC 606)

 

240

 

Shipping

 

(10

)

Store operating costs

 

20

 

Stock-based compensation

 

 

Foreign exchange transactions

 

(10

)

Other

 

 

 

Subtotal

 

300

 

Charges associated with restructuring and other activities

 

30

 

Changes in fair value of contingent consideration

 

(10

)

Goodwill and other intangible asset impairments

 

 

(60

)

Total

 

 

260

 

 

As a percentage of net sales, operating expenses improved as compared to fiscal 2018, reflecting favorable impacts from the adoption of ASC 606 and selling expenses, primarily in North America due to lower demonstration costs, partially driven by changes in distribution channel mix, as well as efficiencies in our sales operations.  These improvements were offset by increases in advertising and promotional activities primarily due to increased spend to support digital advertising and social media (including costs associated with influencers), locally relevant promotions, new product launches, and targeted expanded consumer reach.

 

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Table of Contents

 

OPERATING RESULTS

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

$

2,313

 

$

2,055

 

$ Change from prior year

 

258

 

351

 

% Change from prior year

 

13

%

21

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Margin

 

15.6

%

15.0

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change in operating income from prior year adjusting for the impact of charges associated with restructuring and other activities, goodwill and other intangible asset impairments and changes in fair value of contingent consideration

 

15

%

21

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported operating margin in fiscal 2019 increased by approximately 60 basis points as compared to fiscal 2018, driven by improvements in net sales, operating expenses as a percentage of net sales and lower charges associated with restructuring and other activities, partially offset by the lower gross margin, as previously noted.  Partially offsetting the increase in operating margin was the unfavorable impact of goodwill and other intangible asset impairments.

 

The changes in fair value of contingent consideration and the fiscal 2019 goodwill and intangible asset impairments impacted the operating results of our product categories and geographic regions as follows:

 

 

 

Year ended
June 30, 2019

 

Year ended
June 30, 2018

 

 

 

(In millions)

 

Changes in fair
value of contingent
consideration

 

Goodwill and
other intangible
asset impairments

 

Net Impact

 

Changes in fair
value of contingent
consideration

 

Year-over-year net
impact
favorable
(unfavorable)

Product Category:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin Care

 

$

25

 

$

 

$

25

 

$

21

 

$

4

 

Fragrance

 

12

 

 

12

 

22

 

(10

)

Makeup

 

 

(90

)

(90

)

 

(90

)

Total

 

$

37

 

$

(90

)

$

(53

)

$

43

 

$

(96

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Region:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Americas

 

$

27

 

$

(90

)

$

(63

)

$

28

 

$

(91

)

Europe, the Middle East & Africa

 

10

 

 

10

 

15

 

(5

)

Total

 

$

37

 

$

(90

)

$

(53

)

$

43

 

$

(96

)

 

Charges associated with restructuring and other activities are not allocated to our product categories or geographic regions because they result from activities that are deemed a Company-wide initiative to redesign, resize and reorganize select corporate functions and go-to-market structures.  Accordingly, the following discussions of Operating income by Product Categories and Geographic Regions exclude the fiscal 2019 and 2018 impact of charges associated with restructuring and other activities of $241 million, or 2% of net sales and $257 million, or 2% of net sales, respectively.

 

The adoption of ASC 606, as discussed above, increased operating income for fiscal 2019 by $21 million.

 

Product Categories

 

The change in operating income in each product category for fiscal 2019 included the impact of the adoption of ASC 606, which resulted in an increase (reduction) to operating income, as follows:

 

(In millions)

 

Year Ended June 30, 2019

 

Skin care

 

$

(2

)

Makeup

 

18

 

Fragrance

 

2

 

Hair Care

 

 

Other

 

3

 

Total

 

$

21

 

 

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Table of Contents

 

Skin Care

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

$

1,925

 

$

1,514

 

$ Change from prior year

 

411

 

495

 

% Change from prior year

 

27

%

49

%

 

Reported skin care operating income increased in fiscal 2019, primarily from Estée Lauder and La Mer, due to higher net sales.  Partially offsetting these increases were higher advertising and promotional activities primarily due to increased spend to support digital advertising and social media (including costs associated with influencers), locally relevant promotions, new product launches and targeted expanded consumer reach.

 

Makeup

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

$

438

 

$

549

 

$ Change from prior year

 

(111

)

(169

)

% Change from prior year

 

(20

)%

(24

)%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change in operating income from the prior-year period adjusting for the impact of goodwill and other intangible asset impairments

 

(4

)%

(24

)%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See “Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported makeup operating income decreased in fiscal 2019, driven by lower results from Smashbox, BECCA and Too Faced, combined, of approximately $207 million. The lower results from Smashbox reflected the decline in net sales, as well as $90 million of goodwill and other intangible asset impairments.  The decrease in operating income from BECCA primarily reflected lower net sales, as well as an increase in advertising and promotional expenses to support new product launches.  The lower results from Too Faced primarily reflected higher cost of sales due, in part, to new product introductions. Partially offsetting these decreases were higher results from Estée Lauder primarily due to higher net sales and greater selling efficiencies.

 

Fragrance

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

$

140

 

$

176

 

$ Change from prior year

 

(36

)

59

 

% Change from prior year

 

(20

)%

51

%

 

Reported fragrance operating income decreased in fiscal 2019, driven by lower results from Jo Malone London and certain of our designer fragrances, combined, of approximately $29 million.  The increase from Jo Malone London net sales was more than offset by higher expenses due, in part, to increases in cost of sales reflecting a change in product mix, as well as increases in advertising and promotional activities and store operating costs related to targeted expanded consumer reach. The lower results from certain of our designer fragrances reflected lower net sales, partially offset by disciplined expense management and selling efficiencies in North America.

 

Hair Care

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

$

39

 

$

64

 

$ Change from prior year

 

(25

)

13

 

% Change from prior year

 

(39

)%

25

%

 

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Table of Contents

 

Reported hair care operating income decreased in fiscal 2019 due to lower results from Bumble and bumble and Aveda.  The lower results from Bumble and bumble reflected lower net sales.  The decrease in operating income from Aveda was primarily due to increases in cost of sales; advertising and promotion expenses due to spending to support the brand’s social media and digital campaign activity, new product launches and digital advertising; and shipping expenses due to the net sales increases in our online channel.

 

Geographic Regions

 

The change in operating income in each geographic region for fiscal 2019 included the impact of the adoption of ASC 606, which resulted in an increase (reduction) to operating income, as follows:

 

(In millions)

 

Year Ended June 30, 2019

 

The Americas

 

$

24

 

Europe, the Middle East & Africa

 

8

 

Asia/Pacific

 

(11

)

Total

 

$

21

 

 

The Americas

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

$

(194

)

$

211

 

$ Change from prior year

 

(405

)

(75

)

% Change from prior year

 

(100

+)%

(26

)%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change in operating income from the prior-year period adjusting for the impact of goodwill and other intangible asset impairments

 

(100

+)%

(30

)%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) See “Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” beginning on page 37 for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

Reported operating income in The Americas decreased in fiscal 2019, primarily due to lower net sales in the region, the goodwill and other intangible asset impairments related to Smashbox and investments in information systems and enhanced capabilities in select corporate functions to support our strategic initiatives. This was partially offset by lower selling expenses due to lower demonstration costs, partially driven by changes in distribution channel mix, as well as efficiencies in our sales operations.

 

Europe, the Middle East & Africa

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

$

2,019

 

$

1,526

 

$ Change from prior year

 

493

 

318

 

% Change from prior year

 

32

%

26

%

 

Reported operating income in Europe, the Middle East & Africa increased in fiscal 2019, primarily due to higher results from our travel retail business, reflecting the increase in net sales.

 

Asia/Pacific

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

$

729

 

$

575

 

$ Change from prior year

 

154

 

153

 

% Change from prior year

 

27

%

36

%

 

Reported operating income in Asia/Pacific increased in fiscal 2019, reflecting higher results in China and Hong Kong of approximately $135 million, combined, driven by net sales growth.

 

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Table of Contents

 

INTEREST AND INVESTMENT INCOME

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

(In millions)

 

2019

 

2018

Interest expense

 

$

133

 

$

128

Interest income and investment income, net

 

$

58

 

$

56

 

Interest expense and Interest income and investment income, net increased in fiscal 2019, primarily due to higher interest rates.  Also contributing to the increase in Interest income and investment income, net were higher average investment balances.

 

OTHER INCOME, NET

 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”), which was enacted on December 22, 2017, presented us with opportunities to manage cash and investments more efficiently on a global basis.  Accordingly, during fiscal 2019, as part of the assessment of those opportunities, we sold our available-for-sale securities, which liquidated our investment in the foreign subsidiary that owned those securities.  As a result, we recorded a realized foreign currency gain on liquidation of $77 million and a gross loss on the sale of available-for-sale securities of $6 million, both of which were reclassified from accumulated OCI and are reflected in Other income, net.  See Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 2 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies – Currency Translation and Transactions for further information.

 

PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES

 

The provision for income taxes represents U.S. federal, foreign, state and local income taxes.  The effective rate differs from the federal statutory rate primarily due to the effect of state and local income taxes, the tax impact of share-based compensation, the taxation of foreign income and income tax reserve adjustments, which represent changes in our net liability for unrecognized tax benefits including tax settlements and lapses of the applicable statutes of limitations.  Our effective tax rate will change from quarter to quarter based on recurring and non-recurring factors including the geographical mix of earnings, enacted tax legislation, state and local income taxes, tax reserve adjustments, the tax impact of share-based compensation and the interaction of various global tax strategies.  In addition, changes in judgment from the evaluation of new information resulting in the recognition, derecognition or remeasurement of a tax position taken in a prior annual period are recognized separately in the quarter of change.

 

The TCJA includes broad and complex changes to the U.S. tax code that impacted our accounting and reporting for income taxes.  See Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Note 8 – Income Taxes for further discussion relating to the TCJA.

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

 

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Effective rate for income taxes

 

22.2

%

43.6

%

Basis-point change from prior year

 

(2,140

)

2,130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

Effective rate for income taxes

 

21.5

%

22.3

%


(1) All periods exclude the net impact on the effective tax rate of charges associated with restructuring and other activities and changes in the fair value of contingent consideration.  Fiscal 2019 was adjusted for the impact of the goodwill and other intangible asset impairments, the gain on liquidation of an investment in a foreign subsidiary, net, and the finalization of the TCJA provisional charges recorded in fiscal 2018.  Fiscal 2018 was adjusted for the impact of the provisional charges resulting from the enactment of the TCJA.

 

The effective tax rate for fiscal 2019 decreased approximately 2,140 basis points.  The decrease was primarily attributable to the impacts from the TCJA recognized in the prior year including the Transition Tax, the adjustment to U.S. net deferred tax assets resulting from the statutory tax rate reduction, including the enactment date remeasurement, and the establishment of a net deferred tax liability related to foreign withholding taxes on certain foreign earnings. The collective impact of these charges is approximately 2,260 basis points. An additional 40 basis point reduction is primarily related to the collective net impact of the provisions of the TCJA which became effective in fiscal 2019 including the reduced U.S. statutory tax rate, a foreign derived intangible income deduction (“FDII”) and a new minimum tax on global intangible low-taxed income (“GILTI”).  Partially offsetting these decreases were approximately 100 basis points due to an increase in income tax reserve adjustments and approximately 60 basis points relating to the nondeductible Smashbox goodwill impairment charge.

 

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Table of Contents

 

NET EARNINGS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES INC.

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

($ in millions, except per share data)

 

2019

 

2018

 

As Reported:

 

 

 

 

 

Net earnings attributable to The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

 

$

1,785

 

$

1,108

 

$ Change from prior year

 

677

 

(141

)

% Change from prior year

 

61

%

(11

)%

Diluted net earnings per common share

 

$

4.82

 

$

2.95

 

% Change from prior year

 

63

%

(12

)%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure(1):

 

 

 

 

 

% Change in diluted net earnings per common share from prior year adjusting for the impact of charges associated with restructuring and other activities, goodwill and other intangible asset impairments, changes in fair value of contingent consideration, the gain on liquidation of an investment in a foreign subsidiary, net, the Transition Tax, the remeasurement of U.S. net deferred tax assets as of the TCJA enactment date and the establishment of a net deferred tax liability related to foreign withholding taxes on certain foreign earnings resulting from the TCJA

 

18

%

30

%


 

(1) See “Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for reconciliations between non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

RECONCILIATIONS OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

 

We use certain non-GAAP financial measures, among other financial measures, to evaluate our operating performance, which represent the manner in which we conduct and view our business.  Management believes that excluding certain items that are not comparable from period to period, or do not reflect the Company’s underlying ongoing business, provides transparency for such items and helps investors and others compare and analyze our operating performance from period to period.  In the future, we expect to incur charges or adjustments similar in nature to those presented below; however, the impact to the Company’s results in a given period may be highly variable and difficult to predict.  Our non-GAAP financial measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by, or determined in a manner consistent with, other companies.  While we consider the non-GAAP measures useful in analyzing our results, they are not intended to replace, or act as a substitute for, any presentation included in the consolidated financial statements prepared in conformity with U.S. GAAP.  The following tables present Net sales, Operating income and Diluted net earnings per common share adjusted to exclude the impact of charges associated with restructuring and other activities; goodwill and other intangible asset impairments; the changes in the fair value of contingent consideration; the gain on liquidation of an investment in a foreign subsidiary, net; the Transition Tax; the remeasurement of U.S. net deferred tax assets as of the TCJA enactment date; the establishment of a net deferred tax liability related to foreign withholding taxes on certain foreign earnings resulting from the TCJA; and the effects of foreign currency translation.  The tables provide reconciliations between these non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures.

 

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Table of Contents

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30

 

 

 

%

 

% Change in
Constant

 

($ in millions, except per share data)

 

2019

 

2018

 

Variance

 

Change

 

Currency

 

Net sales, as reported

 

$

14,863

 

$

13,683

 

$

1,180

 

9

%

11

%

Returns associated with restructuring and other activities

 

3

 

8

 

(5

)

 

 

 

 

Net sales, as adjusted

 

$

14,866

 

$

13,691

 

$

1,175

 

9

%

11

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income, as reported

 

$

2,313

 

$

2,055

 

$

258

 

13

%

17

%

Charges associated with restructuring and other activities

 

241

 

257

 

(16

)

 

 

 

 

Goodwill and other intangible asset impairments

 

90

 

 

90

 

 

 

 

 

Changes in fair value of contingent consideration

 

(37

)

(43

)

6

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income, as adjusted

 

$

2,607

 

$

2,269

 

$

338

 

15

%

19

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted net earnings per common share, as reported

 

$

4.82

 

$

2.95

 

$

1.87

 

63

%

70

%

Charges associated with restructuring and other activities

 

.51

 

.51

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gain on liquidation of an investment in a foreign subsidiary, net

 

(.15

)

 

(.15

)

 

 

 

 

Goodwill and other intangible asset impairments

 

.23

 

 

.23

 

 

 

 

 

Changes in fair value of contingent consideration

 

(.08

)

(.09

)

.01

 

 

 

 

 

Transition Tax resulting from the TCJA

 

(.03

)

.94

 

(.97

)

 

 

 

 

Remeasurement of U.S. net deferred tax assets as of the TCJA enactment date

 

.02

 

.08

 

(.06

)

 

 

 

 

Net deferred tax liability related to foreign withholding taxes on certain foreign earnings resulting from the TCJA

 

.02

 

.12

 

(.10

)

 

 

 

 

Diluted net earnings per common share, as adjusted

 

$

5.34

 

$

4.51

 

$

.83

 

18

%

22

%

 

As diluted net earnings per common share, as adjusted, is used as a measure of the Company’s performance, we consider the impact of current and deferred income taxes when calculating the per-share impact of each of the reconciling items.

 

The following table reconciles the change in net sales by product category and geographic region, as reported, to the change in net sales excluding the effects of foreign currency translation:

 

 

 

As Reported

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

($ in millions)

 

Year ended
June 30,
2019

 

Year ended
June 30,
2018

 

Variance

 

Impact of
foreign
currency
translation

 

Variance,
in constant
currency

 

%
Change,
as
reported

 

%
Change,
in
constant
currency

 

By Product Category:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin Care

 

$

6,551

 

$

5,595

 

$

956

 

$

152

 

$

1,108

 

17

%

20

%

Makeup

 

5,860

 

5,633

 

227

 

161

 

388

 

4

 

7

 

Fragrance

 

1,802

 

1,826

 

(24

)

50

 

26

 

(1

)

1

 

Hair Care

 

584

 

570

 

14

 

7

 

21

 

2

 

4

 

Other

 

69

 

67