UPDATE 2-Est+¬e Lauder profit helped by growth in U.S. and China
* Still sees FY sales up 6-7 pct
* Sees FY EPS $2.51-$2.59 vs prior forecast $2.47-$2.56
* Shares up 3.6 percent in morning trading
Feb 5 (Reuters) - Estée Lauder Cos Inc reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday and raised its full-year profit forecast while standing by its forecast for sales growth, pointing to strong demand in the United States and China that is counteracting weak markets like Southern Europe and South Korea.
Sales in the second quarter ended on Dec. 31 rose 7.1 percent to $2.93 billion, with gains in every region, including Europe, where sales in France and Switzerland returned to growth.
That appeared to reassure investors after Estée Lauder in November scaled back its full year sales forecast because of a weak European market and after revenue grew a modest 2.9 percent in the first quarter.
"We believe Estée Lauder continues gaining share of a still growing, but slowing prestige beauty category," Stifel Nicolaus & Co analyst Mark Astrachan wrote in a note.
The company's shares rose 3.7 percent to $63.28 in morning trading.
In Asia, for now still the company's smallest market but the cornerstone of its international expansion, sales were up 11 percent, with China and Hong Kong leading the way.
Growth should continue in the United States, where sales to department stores such as Saks Inc and Neiman Marcus were strong, as well as in several key emerging markets and on the company's e-commerce sites, Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Freda said in a statement.
The company, known for its namesake brand as well as lines such as La Mer and MAC, still anticipates sales growth this year of 6 percent to 7 percent in local currency terms, although it expects third-quarter sales to increase 3 percent to 4 percent.
Skin care showed the largest gains, as the company got a boost from the launch of products such as a La Mer moisturizer. Fragrances, often a laggard for the company, benefited from new products from designer Tom Ford.
Estée Lauder reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $447.5 million, or $1.13 a share, up from $396.7 million, or $1.00 a share, a year earlier.
The company now expects a profit of $2.51 to $2.59 per share for the year, up from an earlier range of $2.47 to $2.56.
Smaller rival Revlon Inc said its quarterly sales rose 14 percent in the United States, driven by increased demand for its Revlon and SinfulColors color cosmetics and ColorSilk hair color, and offsetting weakness in Europe.
Shares of Revlon rose more than 5 percent.