AVON SEES NET UP 14 -16% IN 1ST QUARTER

NEW YORK — Avon Products Inc. said it expects earnings from continuing operations to rise 14 percent to 16 percent in the first quarter, with sales increasing by 8 to 10 percent.
James E. Preston, chairman and chief executive officer, made the prediction Thursday at the meeting with analysts and institutional investors at Avon’s headquarters here.
In the year-ago quarter, Avon earned $31.2 million, or 43 cents a share, from continuing operations on sales of $886 million. Year-ago figures were restated to reflect the sale of the Giorgio Beverly Hills Inc. subsidiary in August 1994.
Preston said strength in the U.S., Latin America and some other markets offset poor results in Mexico from the peso crisis. Excluding the impact of the peso, sales would have been ahead 13 to 15 percent in the first quarter, which ends today.
Mexico’s sales and pretax profits will be down in the first quarter but are expected to improve in the second half.
In the U.S., pretax profits should rise 18 to 20 percent in the quarter on the strength of beauty products and apparel, he said. U.S. sales should gain between 9 to 11 percent.
— Fairchild News Service