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Family business roundup: Sales grow at Estee Lauder, Hyatt Hotels, Hermes and Asklepios

By Giulia Cambieri

It’s been a good week for family businesses in North America and Europe, with Estee Lauder, Hyatt Hotels, Hermes and Asklepios Group seeing their revenues increase.

Cosmetic giant Estee Lauder said on 4 May that sales grew by 4% to $2.25 billion (€1.9 billion) during its third fiscal quarter, which ended on 31 March. Net profit at the New York-based company, controlled by the founding Lauder family, rose by 5% to $130.4 million, from $124.7 million during the same quarter last year.

Growth was largely driven by its skin care division, the group said. Sales at the unit, which includes the flagship Estee Lauder brand, Clinique and Aveda, increased by 9% during the quarter.

Also in the US, family-controlled Hyatt Hotels Corporation saw revenues rise by 9.5% to $958 million during the first quarter of 2012. Controlled by the Pritzker family, the Chicago-based hotel company said on 3 May that adjusted pre-tax profit increased by 14.7% to $125 million during the quarter, compared with $109 million during the same period last year.

However, Hyatt’s quarterly profits missed estimates by analysts, sending the shares down 5% at the closing of the trading session on 3 May. Estee Lauder attributed the less-than-expected profits to a 10.8% increase in the company’s expenses.

Across the Atlantic, Hermes, the fashion house majority owned by descendants of the founder, posted revenues of €776.9 million for the three months to 31 March – a 21.9% increase over the same quarter last year.

In a statement released on 3 May, the Paris-based firm, which traces its roots back to 1837 and is famous among other things for its Birkin bags, added that although sales grew across all geographical regions, it was particularly strong in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, which increased by 29%.

In Germany, Asklepios Group, the hospital and healthcare group controlled by Bernard Broermann and his family, also posted strong results for 2011. The company, which owns more than 100 hospitals across Germany and Europe, said on 2 May that turnover jumped 12% to €2.58 billion in 2011, from €2.28 billion the previous year.

However, the Hamburg-based group added that “due to the difficult macroeconomic environment”, pre-tax profit increased by only 1% to €243.1 million.  

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