AVON OPERATING NET CLIMBS 9.7% IN QUARTER; SALES UP 9%

NEW YORK — Boosted by strong domestic sales, Avon Products Inc. reported Tuesday that second-quarter income from operations rose 9.7 percent to $72.3 million, or $1.02 a share, from $65.9 million, or 91 cents, a year ago.
After taking a $22.2 million charge from the sale of its Giorgio Beverly Hills Inc. fragrance subsidiary to Procter & Gamble Co. (see related story, this page), Avon’s net earnings dropped to $50.1 million, or 71 cents.
Sales in the quarter were up 9 percent to $1 billion from $920.2 million.
In the half ended June 30, income from operations climbed 14.1 percent to $103.4 million, or $1.45, from $90.6 million, or $1.26, in 1993.
Net income, after the charge from the sale of Giorgio and a $45.2 million accounting charge, was $34.4 million, or 48 cents, against a loss of $27.3 million in the same period in 1993.
Year-ago figures are after a $107.5 million accounting charge and a $10.4 million loss from discontinued operations related to a former health care subsidiary. Sales in the half gained 9.2 percent to $1.89 billion from $1.73 billion.
James E. Preston, Avon’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the U.S. business continues to be “very robust,” as pretax income rose 38 percent on a 15 percent growth in sales. Numbers of orders, average order size and the total number of customers were favorable, he added.
Preston noted that sales were up in most major categories and Avon Style, an apparel line introduced earlier this year, continues to exceed expectations. — Fairchild News Service

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