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Avon to Cut 400 Jobs, Exit Ireland

Direct merchant said moves would save up to $50 million annually.

Avon Products Inc. is shrinking to save.

The direct-beauty merchant said it would eliminate 400 jobs across its business and exit some smaller, underperforming markets, including Ireland.

Avon, which employed roughly 39,100 at the end of 2012, said the cuts are expected to be completed this year and are aimed at “boosting efficiencies and concentrating resources on high priority markets and activities.”

The changes are projected to produce annual savings of between $45 million and $50 million, but will initially cost the firm between $35 million and $40 million before taxes.

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Avon plans to cut costs by a total of $400 million by 2016.

“We continue to work aggressively toward turning around the business,” said Sheri McCoy, chief executive officer. “The steps outlined today take us closer to our cost-savings goal. At the same time, we remain focused on continuing to streamline the business and driving top-line growth.”

Avon did not specify what other markets it might exit, but said it was restructuring or closing “certain smaller, underperforming markets” mostly in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.