By  on October 27, 2006

NEW YORK - Andrea Jung, chairman and chief executive officer of Avon Products Inc., outlined a new strategic plan to clean house and bolster profitability by slimming down the direct-seller’s product assortment.

Called Product Line Simplification, the initiative is designed to reduce the size of its offering by a range of 25 percent to 40 percent to allow the company to focus more resources on less product.

Citing expenses from its restructuring program, Avon reported on Friday that third-quarter net earnings fell 47 percent. For the three months ended Sept. 30, net income was $86.4 million, or 19 cents, compared with $163.8 million, or 35 cents, in the year-ago period. Overall revenue increased 9 percent to $2.1 billion.

By region, sales in North America dipped one percent to $570.2 million with a 2 percent decline in active representatives. Latin American sales surged 28 percent in U.S. dollars to $707.5 million, fueled by 40 percent top-line growth in Brazil, and sales in China grew 9 percent to $49.3 million.

Revenue in the Asia-Pacific region dropped 3 percent in U.S. dollars to $201.3 million.

For complete coverage see Monday's issue of WWD.

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