Avon Sales Fall for 16th Straight Quarter as Latam Demand Slumps


Avon Products Inc reported a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly sales as demand for its cosmetics declined further in Latin America, its biggest market.

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The company's sales in Latin America fell 26 percent to $779.2 million in the fourth quarter, hurt by a slump in demand from Brazil.

Latin America accounts for nearly half of Avon's total revenue.

The company, whose sales have been falling for four years, is selling most of its struggling North America business to top investor Cerberus Capital Management as it focuses on better performing markets such as Latin America.

Avon also outlined plans in January to turn its business around, including cost cuts of $350 million in the next three years, investment in technology and better use of social media.

The net loss attributable to Avon widened to $333.4 million, or 76 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from $330.7 million, or 75 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue fell 20.2 percent to $1.61 billion.

Analysts on average had expected sales to fall 9.4 percent to $1.82 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Avon reported a loss of $14.8 million, or 4 cents per share, from continuing operations. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)