Byline: Thomas J. Ryan

NEW YORK — Revlon Worldwide Corp. cut its losses in the fourth quarter and year as sharply higher operating profits only partially offset heavier interest costs.
In the quarter ended Dec. 31, the highly leveraged cosmetics giant narrowed its loss to $28 million from $53.6 million. Operating income nearly tripled to $45.2 million from $15.2 million, while interest expense climbed 31.7 percent to $119.6 million.
Sales rose 12.5 percent to $495.9 million in the quarter from $440.7 million.
In the year, the loss was trimmed to $187 million from $205.2 million. Operating profits more than doubled to $113.1 million from $51.5 million, while interest expense gained 23 percent to $221.2 million.
The latest year includes $28.8 million in net accounting charges, partly offset by $15.5 million in net charges in 1993 for accounting changes and debt retirement.
Sales in 1994 rose 9.1 percent to $1.73 billion from $1.59 billion. Gross margins in the year improved to 65.5 percent from 64.2 percent as a result of lower production costs stemming from the restructuring of domestic operations and lower sales returns.
Revlon said interest costs rose as a result of higher outstanding borrowings and higher average interest rates associated with debt issuance in 1993 and higher interest rates in the U.S. in 1994. Long-term debt increased 12 percent to $2.06 billion at year end.
— Fairchild News Service