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Avon First-Quarter Net Rises 23 Percent

Emerging markets counterbalance weakness in North America; sales increase 14.5 percent to $2.5 billion.

Strength in emerging markets helped Avon Products Inc. overcome sluggishness in North America and post double-digit increases on both the top and bottom lines for the first quarter.

Earnings for the three months ended March 31 shot up 23.1 percent to $184.7 million, or 43 cents a share. Sales increased 14.5 percent to $2.5 billion.

“We continued to benefit from our strength in developing and emerging markets around the globe to more than offset the unfavorable impact of economic softness and service problems in North America,” said Andrea Jung, chairman and chief executive officer.

Revenues in North America fell 6 percent. Business units with rising revenues included Central and Eastern Europe, up 17 percent; Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 17 percent; the Asia-Pacific area, 9 percent, and China, 29 percent.

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

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