NEW YORK — As part of Avon's turnaround plan, the beauty firm continued to broaden the roles of its management team, naming Elizabeth Smith president of Avon Products Inc. and Charles Cramb vice chairman, chief finance and strategy officer.

Smith — who was formerly executive vice president and president, North America and Global Marketing — will retain her current responsibilities for North American operations and Global Brand Marketing. As part of her new role, she will oversee Global Supply Chain and Global Information Technology.

In a statement, the company said Smith's broadened role gives her "full end-to-end leadership for the company's product-to-market processes, infrastructure and systems." Smith, who joined Avon in January 2005 from Kraft Foods Inc., will continue to report to Andrea Jung, Avon's chairman and chief executive officer. The role of president was left vacant following the retirement of Susan Kropf, Avon's former president and chief operating officer, in July 2006.

Prior to his promotion, Cramb served as executive vice president, finance and technology, and chief financial officer. In his new role as vice chairman, chief finance and strategy officer, he will continue to oversee Avon's restructuring and cost-control initiatives as part of the company's multiyear turnaround plan announced in November 2005. He will also assume broader responsibility for long-term strategic planning and development, and continue to report to Jung.

To assist Smith with her expanded role, Avon has tapped Andrea Slater, who previously was the president of Avon U.K., to fill the post of president of Avon U.S. Slater, a 17-year veteran of the company, will report to Smith.

In a statement, Jung said, "We remain committed to the principles of a delayered organization, which have helped us to get closer to our markets and customers and are a cornerstone of our turnaround."

— Molly Prior

Inter Parfums SA Net Rises

PARIS — Inter Parfums SA, the Paris-based subsidiary of Inter Parfums Inc., posted first-half net profits of 10.6 million euros, or $14.1 million at average exchange, up 6 percent year-on-year.

The turnout is considered in line with targets, according to company executives.As reported, Inter Parfums SA's revenues were 110.3 million euros, or $146.6 million, representing a 9 percent rise in the half ended June 30.

During a financial analyst meeting held here Tuesday, Philippe Benacin, chairman and managing director of Inter Parfums SA, discussed wide-ranging subjects. He called the company's acquisition of Lanvin SA's fragrance and cosmetics business — worth 34 million euros, or $47 million at current exchange — in August for 22 million euros, or $30.4 million, an "excellent deal." Benacin reiterated Lanvin had made the sale because it needed money to open new stores and to renovate its existing ones. Benacin also said he had turned down the possibility of Inter Parfums SA getting involved in Lanvin's fashion activities, since fashion doesn't have the same business model as beauty.

As reported, the fragrance and cosmetics deal comes with a buyback option, which can be implemented on July 1, 2025, and a technical assistance and design agreement.

Benacin said that, if Lanvin were to buy back the beauty business at that time, Inter Parfums SA could command a good price.

On the subject of possible acquisitions, Benacin explained Inter Parfums SA is interested in two or three Italian beauty brands. He said an opportunity also could arise if another major beauty player — along the lines of Coty or Procter & Gamble — sheds some of its brands. Inter Parfums SA would sign on a new beauty license only "if the opportunity justifiably fits in its portfolio," he said.

Inter Parfums SA announced its operating profits grew 3 percent to 15.2 million euros, or $20.2 million at average exchange, in the first half. Its gross margin came in at 67.9 million euros, or $90.3 million, a 15 percent increase. Inter Parfums SA attributes the hike to higher margins and effective management costs related to the consolidation of its European subsidiaries.

Due to positive sales during the summer, plus improved inventory levels and the introductions of the Roxy and Paul Smith Rose fragrances, Inter Parfums SA expects strong year-end revenues. As such, it maintains its target of double-digit net income growth for 2007.

Inter Parfums SA stock closed on the Paris Bourse Tuesday at a unit price of 32.90 euros, or $45.50 at current exchange, up 0.76 percent on the previous day.
— Jennifer WeilFashion Fair Taps Sempowski Ward
NEW YORK — Fashion Fair Cosmetics has named Anne Sempowski Ward president and chief operating officer, a new position.

Ward, who will assume the post on Oct. 1, was most recently assistant vice president of African-American marketing for Coca-Cola Co. In her new role, Ward will lead all aspects of sales, product development, supply chain and marketing, according to the firm. Her new duties will also include overseeing all business development strategies.

"Anne has more than 15 years of brand management and leadership experience, which will help to cultivate our global growth strategy initiatives," said Linda Johnson Rice, president and chief executive officer of Johnson Publishing Co., which owns Fashion Fair as well as Ebony magazine.

Fashion Fair also has promoted J. Lance Clarke from senior vice president to senior vice president and director of global sales. In the new position, Clarke will oversee domestic and international sales for Fashion Fair.

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