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Family business roundup: The way is up for Estee Lauder, Hyatt and Astral

Family businesses in North America appear to be battling the ongoing economic turmoil well, with three companies reporting growth in revenues and profits.

Family businesses in North America appear to be battling the ongoing economic turmoil well, with three companies reporting growth in revenues and profits.

Cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, majority owned by the founding family, said on 1 November that revenues for the first fiscal quarter ending 30 September rose by 3% to $2.55 billion (€2 billion).

Net earnings at the New York-based group also rose to $312 million – an 11% increase.

Fabrizio Freda, non-family president and chief executive, credited the performance to strong sales of its products in North America and China, where the group generated a “significant operating margin increase”.

Meanwhile, fellow American Hyatt Hotels said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose by 14% in the third quarter of 2012 to $154 million.

The Pritzker family-controlled group, known for its luxury hotels, saw revenues for the three months ending 30 September increase to $977 million from $897 million in the same period last year.

Hyatt said in a statement that growth was thanks to recent acquisitions of hotels in the US and Mexico, as well as improved performance of hotels that were renovated last year.

Canadian media conglomerate Astral Media, founded by four brothers in 1961, said in a statement that net earnings for fiscal 2012 ending 31 August grew by almost 10% to $204.4 million.

The group, led by family member Ian Greensberg, saw revenue growth across its television division, but witnessed a 1% fall in its radio operations. Overall revenues for the year were $1.02 billion, up from the $1.01 billion reported last fiscal year.

The results come on the back of an attempt by the family to sell its stake to fellow communications group BCE. The Greensbergs first announced in March that they would sell their stake to BCE, but the deal did not gain the approval of the Canadian regulator.

Astral is well known for owning a number of radio stations, as well as television channels such as HBO Canada and The Movie Network.
 

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