William P. Lauder, President and CEO:
The Estee Lauder brand recently gained marketshare in China, thanks to strong genuine promotions and a very positive season for our new products. The brand of our skin care lines geared to younger consumers in Asia, where the average age of the department store shopper is the youngest in the world. We expect the Estee Lauder brand to perform well in international markets where it has greater opportunity.
We continue to stretch our reach geographically, another imperative we outlined to penetrate new markets, search for promising opportunities brand by brand, and expand the ones that are put down stakes. In China, Estee Lauder and Clinique are the fastest growing prestige brands as measured by same store sales, driven by skin care and makeup. La Mer, MAC, and Bobbi Brown entered China about a year ago and consumer reception has been enthusiastic.
Asia-Pacific saw the highest percentage growth with our business in China and Hong Kong continuing to post very strong double digit local currency sales increases.