Source: Press Release 5/1/2012

Avon Reports First Quarter 2012 Results

NEW YORK, May 1, 2012 --Avon Products, Inc. today reported first-quarter 2012 results. Kimberly Ross, Avon's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer said: "While our first-quarter operating performance remained challenged, we are making progress toward addressing some of our operational and cost-cutting opportunities. With Sheri McCoy now on board, we are confident that her broad leadership experience and skills in managing large, complex, global organizations will help drive Avon's future success. We look forward to communicating further with investors about our future growth strategy at the appropriate time."

First-Quarter 2012 (compared with first-quarter 2011)

Total revenue of $2.6 billion decreased 2%, up 1% in constant dollars. Total units declined by 1% and price/mix increased 2% during the quarter. Active Representatives were down 2%.

On a category basis, Beauty sales declined 1%, up 2% in constant dollars. On a reported basis, color was flat, fragrance and skincare declined 1%, and personal care was down 2%. Constant-dollar Beauty was driven by growth in all categories; color was up 4%, fragrance increased 3%, skincare grew 2%, and personal care was up 1%.

First-quarter 2012 gross margin was 60.8%, 310 basis points lower than the prior-year quarter, primarily due to cost pressures, including commodities and higher labor costs, as well as the negative impact from both foreign exchange and product mix.

Selling, general and administrative expense in the quarter increased as a percent of revenue by 350 basis points versus first-quarter 2011, and increased 310 basis points on an adjusted non-GAAP basis largely due to investments in the Representative Value Proposition(2) ("RVP"), increased bad debt provisions in South Africa, higher employment costs, and increased investments in brochures. Avon invested an additional $29 million in RVP in the quarter, primarily in the One Simple Sales Model in the U.S. and an increased focus on Representative engagement in Brazil. This was partially offset by a $7 million decline in advertising, down 9% to $75 million.

In the quarter, we took actions to enhance our operating model, reduce costs, and improve efficiencies. We recorded costs associated with restructuring of $27 million pre-tax, up from $15 million pre-tax in the year-ago period, or $0.04 and $0.02 per diluted share, respectively. Of the $27 million in the quarter, $22 million relates to the actions as described above, with the remaining $5 million associated with the 2005 and 2009 restructuring programs.

Operating profit was $72 million in the quarter and operating margin was 2.8%. Adjusted non-GAAP operating profit was $99 million and adjusted non-GAAP operating margin was 3.8%, down 610 basis points from the first quarter of 2011.

First-quarter 2012's effective tax rate was 32.3%, in line with the first quarter of 2011. On an adjusted non-GAAP basis, the effective tax rate was 32.9% versus 32.8% in first-quarter 2011.

Income from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2012 was $28 million, or $0.06 per diluted share. Adjusted non-GAAP income from continuing operations was $46 million, or $0.10 per diluted share.

With regards to cash flow, operating activities used $33 million of cash during the first quarter compared with a use of $32 million in the first quarter of 2011, as lower net income was offset by improvements in working capital, including inventory and lower pension contributions. The overall net cash used in the first quarter was $30 million, compared with a use of $165 million in first-quarter 2011, primarily due to lower debt repayments and $44 million related to the termination of two of our interest rate swap agreements.

Avon's net debt (total debt less cash) for the first quarter of 2012 was $2.2 billion, up $104 million from the year-end level.

View Avon Review

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