Cosmetics manufacturer and marketer Estée Lauder has reported a 3% increase in net sales to $2.55bn in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 ended 30 September 2012, as against $2.48bn for the same quarter in 2011.

The firm’s gross profit for the current quarter rose by 3% to 2.01bn, up from 1.94bn in the corresponding quarter of 2011.

Estée Lauder registered a 12% growth in operating income in the current quarter $482m, compared to $430m for the first quarter in the previous year.

Estée Lauder president and chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda said the firm’s organic sales growth for the quarter was in line with the company’s expectations, while earnings per share beat its own estimates.

"In particular, strong growth in North America and China drove our sales gains and, when coupled with cost of sales improvements and effective expense management, we generated a significant operating margin increase," Freda added.

The firm’s net sales from the American region improved by 8% for the first quarter to $1.18bn, majorly driven by the currency gains in Canada and Latin America, and as the sales in Brazil grew at a strong double-digit pace.

Estée Lauder net sales in the first quarter from the Europe, Middle East and African region was down by 4% to $824.9m, while the firm’s Asia/Pacific’s net sales grew by 7% in the quarter to $542.5m.

Estée Lauder is a US-based cosmetics manufacturer and marketer founded in 1946, whose portfolio includes skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products.