Byline: Evan Clark

NEW YORK — Avon Products Inc. registered an 8.7 percent increase in its third-quarter profits.
For the period ended Sept. 30, income reached $100.3 million, or 42 cents a diluted share, compared with $92.3 million, or 38 cents, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding extraordinary items, operating profits rose 6 percent, to $179.5 million.
Revenues climbed 5.7 percent, to $1.42 billion from $1.35 billion in the third quarter of 2000. Excluding currency fluctuations, sales rose 12 percent.
In the U.S., sales gained 8 percent on a 13 percent uptick in units and a 3 percent rise in active representatives. Operating profits climbed 10 percent in the region.
Calling the results “fantastic,” Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Carol Warner Wilke said: “They reinvigorated the brand and with that improved the whole direct-selling experience for the reps.”
Banc of America Securities analyst William Steele agreed: “All you can say is, ‘Wow.’ It’s a company that’s really running on all cylinders.”
Profits for the nine months were up 13.8 percent, to $319.7 million, or $1.33 a diluted share, compared with $280.9 million, or $1.17, a year ago. Sales rose 4.6 percent, to $4.24 billion from $4.06 billion a year ago. Excluding the effects of foreign currency, sales grew by 10 percent.