SÃO PAULO — Avon expects Brazilian revenues will rise strongly in 2016, fueled by a string of product launches and rising marketing spending, said new marketing director for cosmetics Jurema Aguiar de Araujo.

“We are going through an important transformation,” de Araujo enthused, adding that revenues will rise significantly this year though she declined to provide specific figures. “We have started launching new products such as our Batom Ultramatte lipstick that has earned the most of any new lipstick in beauty history with 14 million units sold in six months.”
Avon also recently rolled out its new high-end skin cream Anew Ultimate Supreme, Araujo said. She added six products, including its Attraction, Luck and Avon Life fragrances with Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada, were introduced this year compared to virtually none in 2015.

The U.S. door-to-door seller also sharply boosted spending to promote the new fragrances and cosmetics.

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“We did not do fragrance marketing before and had not done any in makeup for a long time,” de Araujo told WWD recently during the Abhipec industry lobbying group’s annual awards in which Avon won a prize for Batom Ultramatte, said to provide more hydration and comfort than rivals.

Avon, which employs 1.5 million sales representatives in Brazil, is managing to grow sales despite falling fortunes for archival Natura and others suffering from the country’s deep recession and a mature door-to-door circuit.

Beauty sales are forecast to decline 1 to 2 percent this year, according to Abhipec, though that’s down from an 8 percent plunge in 2015. Some forecasters expect trade will begin improving next year after a government change to inject economic growth and political stability.

Avon’s latest third-quarter results seem to back de Araujo.

The “South Latin America” region, including Brazil, saw its operating profit rise 3.1 percent on revenues up 4 percent to $594.8 million. Excluding currency effects, operating profit rose 9 percent. In Brazil, revenue leapt 14 percent but 6 percent on a constant-dollar basis, Avon said in a statement.

The results outstripped “Northern Latin America” — including Mexico — where operating profits rose 3 percent to $24.4 million, though revenues fell 6 percent to $196.8 million.
Avon expects to stand apart from rivals by growing in Brazil’s promising lipstick and antiaging markets, where de Araujo said there is strong room for growth.

“There is 30 percent market penetration in lipstick while antiaging is also very low,” de Araujo concluded, adding that the firm will also work to improve innovation.