Beauty Sales Help Triple Avon's 1Q Profit

Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) revealed on Tuesday a stronger-than-expected 138% jump in first-quarter profit, led by beauty sales in Latin America and Western Europe that more than offset declines in the U.S. and China.

Beauty sales climbed 8% year-over-year led by its fragrances, color, skincare and personal care products, with demand strongest in Latin America, which increased 16% from the year-earlier period with the help of Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela, and Western Europe.

Total revenue for the three-month period was $2.6 billion, up 7% from $2.4 billion a year ago, virtually matching the Street’s view of $2.58 billion. North America and Asia partially offset the gains, with U.S. demand falling with a 14% drop in units sold and China booking a 32% decline in sales.

“We are squarely focused on restoring growth in Brazil and Russia in the second half, and ensuring execution in gross margin improvement and cost control,” Avon CEO Andrea Jung said in a statement.

The company posted net income of $143.6 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with $43.3 million, or 10 cents, in the same quarter last year. Excluding special items, Avon earned 37 cents, ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 31 cents.