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Avon Net Sales, Reps Dip in Q3

Active reps declined 5 percent in the quarter.

Avon Products Inc. is still striving for a turnaround.

For the third quarter, the beauty firm’s net sales were down 2 percent, to $1.35 billion, from $1.38 billion in the prior-year period. Net income was up to $112 million, from $11.9 million in the prior year period. Earnings per diluted share were 21 cents.

“It is going to take time for us to execute this turnaround,” admitted Avon chief executive officer Jan Zijderveld. “While we are not yet satisfied with the overall quarterly results, I am encouraged by the speed at which initiatives are being adopted in our markets. We are beginning to see benefits from recruiting and training initiatives that have been put in place in countries around the world.”

He continued, “We are beginning to see early results of various initiatives. Through Avon Opportunity Meetings, we are bringing significantly more people in our Asia-Pacific region, global training programs are exceeding participation goals and faster launched, on-trend beauty products are being met with strong acceptance in the marketplace. We know that in order to make ‘Her’ successful, we have to move more quickly than we ever have in the past, make it easier for her to do business and help her improve her earnings.”

Active representatives were down 5 percent in the quarter.

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Also during the third quarter, Avon completed the cost-savings program unveiled in early 2016, with $350 million in savings, and has started to implement a new one. The latest initiative focuses on simplifying the business for efficiency, and is expected to “free up” $400 million in the next three years for growth initiatives.