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AVON NET INCOME UP 12 PERCENT FOR FOURTH QUARTER; DEBT LEVEL LOWEST SINCE 1981

 NEW YORK, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) reported a 12 percent increase in net income on a 4 percent increase in net sales for the fourth quarter.
 "Favorable pretax results occurred in all areas of our business," said James E. Preston, chairman and chief executive officer, "particularly in the international regions."
 Net income was up 12 percent to $103.3 million from $92.6 million for the same period in 1991. Sales of $1.17 billion increased 4 percent over the prior year's $1.13 billion.
 Income per share, assuming full dilution, increased 11 percent to $1.43 from $1.29 in the fourth quarter of 1991.
 Avon International sales were up 7 percent and pretax income rose 17 percent. In the Americas, sales and pretax earnings increased significantly. In Europe, while units were down, net sales and gross margin increases reflected the emphasis on marketing higher priced, higher margin products. The Pacific Rim's performance was strong overall.
 Avon U.S. sales declined 1 percent; however, pretax income was up 1 percent. Increased sales of skin care, jewelry and accessories were offset by a decline in sales of men's gift products. Pretax income was favorably impacted by a reduction in expenses.
 Consolidated direct selling units rose 3 percent. Avon International units were up 7 percent, driven primarily by the Americas Region and Pacific Rim, while Avon U.S. units declined 2 percent.
 Giorgio, the prestige fragrance subsidiary, experienced a strong fourth quarter, the combined result of an increase in sales and continued diligent expense controls.
 YEAR-END RESULTS
 For the year, sales increased 6 percent to $3.81 billion from $3.59 billion in 1991. Income from continuing operations was up 14 percent to $239.4 million before the restructuring charge of $64.4 million after tax, recorded in the first quarter. The charge resulted in income from continuing operations of $175.0 million, compared to $210.7 million in 1991.
 Year-End 1992 Results, Excluding First Quarter Restructuring Charge
 -- Income from continuing operations was $239.4 million, up 14 percent.
 -- Income per share from continuing operations, assuming full dilution, was $3.32, up 13 percent from $2.94 in 1991.
 Year-End 1992 Results, Including First Quarter Restructuring Charge
 -- Income from continuing operations was $175.0 million versus $210.7 million in 1991.
 -- Income per share from continuing operations, assuming full dilution, was $2.43 versus $2.94 in 1991.
 Avon's strong cash flow, notably in the fourth quarter, allowed the company to reduce total debt to $215.0 million from $352.1 million at the end of 1991. In the last four years, total debt has been reduced by more than $900 million. Debt is now at the lowest year-end level since 1981.
 Worldwide free cash flow was $220 million in 1992 compared with $148 million in 1991. This significant improvement was the result of the company's continued focus on cash conservation and balance sheet management. Free cash flow is net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures and dividends paid, but excludes the $213 million special dividend paid in September 1991.
 Net income in 1992, which included the $64.4 million after- tax restructuring charge, was $175.0 million, compared with $135.7 million in 1991, which reflected a $75 million non-cash charge for discontinued operations.
 Although sales of Avon International increased 8 percent for the year, pretax income, excluding the restructuring charge, rose 6 percent because strong results in the Pacific and Americas Regions were partially offset by the continued recessions in Europe and Brazil.
 For Avon U.S., sales rose 4 percent and pretax income before the restructuring charge increased 7 percent due to increased sales of higher margin skin care products.
 Consolidated Avon direct selling units were level with last year, with International units even and U.S. units down 1 percent.
 Sales for Giorgio were down slightly for the year; however, pretax profit rose significantly, reflecting the rewards of rigorous cost- control and margin improvement programs.
 "In 1993, we are determined to continue to meet our stated growth objectives," said Preston.
 Avon is the world's leading direct seller and marketer of beauty and related products with $3.8 billion in annual revenues. Avon markets its products to women in more than 100 countries through 1,685,000 independent representatives. Avon product lines include such recognizable brands as Skin-So-Soft, Moisture Therapy, Imari fragrance and Anew. Avon is also the world's largest manufacturer of fashion jewelry, and markets an extensive line of gifts and collectibles. The company employs approximately 30,000 people worldwide.
 AVON PRODUCTS INC.
 Consolidated Statement of Income
 (In millions, except share data)
 Three months Percent Year Ended Percent
 ended Dec. 31 Change Dec. 31 Change
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net Sales $1,174.6 $1,129.6 4 $3,809.9 $3,593.3 6
 Costs,
 expenses and
 other
 Cost of sales 466.4 444.1 1,487.5 1,400.0
 Mktg., distrib.,
 and admin.
 expenses 518.5 501.7 1,863.8 1,746.1
 Provision for
 restructuring
 costs -- -- 96.0 --
 Interest expense 10.1 17.2 44.0 76.1
 Interest income (13.1) (18.0) (37.7) (62.6)
 Other expense,
 net 16.8 25.6 44.6 69.4
 Total costs,
 expenses
 and other 998.7 970.6 3 3,498.2 3,229.0 8
 364.3 (14)
 Income taxes 69.9 63.9 131.5 149.1
 Income from
 continuing
 ops. before
 minority
 interest 106.0 95.1 11 180.2 215.2 (16)
 Minority int. (2.7) (2.5) (5.2) (4.5)
 Income from
 continuing
 ops. 103.3 92.6 12 175.0 210.7 (17)
 Discontinued
 ops., net -- -- -- (75.0)
 Net income $ 103.3 $ 92.6 12 $ 175.0 $ 135.7 29
 Income (loss)
 per share of
 common stock
 assuming full
 dilution
 Continuing
 ops. $ 1.43 $ 1.29 11 $ 2.43 $ 2.94 (17)
 Discontinued
 ops. -- -- -- (1.05)
 Net Income $ 1.43 $ 1.29 11 $ 2.43 $ 1.89 29
 Average shares
 outstanding
 assuming full
 dilution 72.06 71.90 72.10 71.68
 Note: As discussed in Avon's 1991 reports, primary income per share figures do not provide a meaningful comparison. The full year of 1991 does not fully reflect the additional common shares issued upon the conversion of the preferred stock in June 1991. For 1991, income from continuing operations used in this computation has been reduced by preferred stock dividends. Primary income per share for the fourth quarter of 1992 was $1.44; it was $1.29 in 1991. Primary income per share from continuing operations was $2.43 for 1992, it was $2.92 in 1991.
 -0- 2/4/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Taylor at 212-546-6341 or Jim Daniels at 212-546-6058, both for Avon Products; or For Investor's Research Wire contact: Ann Scavullo at 212-546-6737 or Lynn Gitlitz at 212-546-8271/
 (AVP)


CO: Avon Products, Inc. ST: New York IN: HOU SU: ERN

LR -- NY015 -- 2796 02/04/93 09:10 EST
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