Estee Lauder lowers top end of year sales view, but Q1 profit up

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Estée Lauder Cos Inc on Thursday lowered the top end of its full-year sales forecast, pointing to uncertainty in some key markets.

The company, known for brands as La Mer and MAC, now expects sales this year will rise 6 percent to 7 percent on a constant currency basis, compared with an earlier forecast of a range of 6 percent to 8 percent.

Still, Estee Lauder reported a higher than expected quarterly profit, helped by large gains in U.S. and China that helped make up for weakness in Europe.

The company reported net profit of $299.5 million, or 76 cents a share, in the first quarter, ended Sept. 30, compared with $278.6 million, or 70 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding some restructuring charges, Estee Lauder had a profit of 79 cents, beating analysts' estimates of 77 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 2.9 percent to $2.55 billion. The company also raised its annual dividend to 72 cents per share from 52.5 cents.