Both Revlon Inc. and Elizabeth Arden Inc. posted losses for the first three months of the year as the consumer became more tentative.

Revlon’s first-quarter losses narrowed to $2.5 million, or breakeven on a per-share basis, from red ink of $35.2 million, or 7 cents, a year earlier. Sales for the three months ended March 31 dipped 2.5 percent to $320.4 million.

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U.S. sales for the company fell 8.3 percent to $177.2 million as international turnover rose 5.8 percent to $143.2 million.

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David Kennedy, Revlon’s president and chief executive officer, said the plan was to boost sales of new products while controlling costs.

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“All combined, we expect to generate sustainable, profitable sales growth and positive free cash flow,” said Kennedy.

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At Arden, losses in its third quarter, which also ended March 31, weighed in at $3.8 million, or 14 cents a share. That compared with earnings of $3.2 million, or 11 cents, a year earlier. Sales for the three months fell 4 percent to $210.6 million.

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“While we were not expecting any improvement in the retail environment this past quarter in North America, we did not anticipate the extent of the negative retail sales trends,” said E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and ceo.

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For complete coverage, see Friday’s issue of WWD.

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