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Avon Outlines Further Steps Of Cost Savings Initiative





NEW YORK, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) today released further details of the company's previously announced $400 million Cost Saving Initiative by 2016.

The latest actions include a global headcount reduction of more than 400 associates across all regions and functions, and the restructuring or closure of certain smaller, underperforming markets, primarily in Europe, Middle East & Africa, including the exit of the Republic of Ireland market.  These actions, like those previously announced, are aimed at boosting efficiencies and concentrating resources on high priority markets and activities.  The company expects these actions to be largely completed before the end of 2013.

Avon said that total charges related to these actions are expected to be in the range of $35 to $40 million before taxes and that approximately $20 million of that total will be recorded in the first quarter of 2013.

The company expects these actions to generate approximately $45 to $50 million in annualized savings, when fully implemented, as part of its $400 million cost savings goal.

"We continue to work aggressively toward turning around the business," said Avon Chief Executive Officer Sheri McCoy.  "The steps outlined today take us closer to our cost-savings goal.  At the same time, we remain focused on continuing to streamline the business and driving top-line growth."

The company expects to provide additional updates as the cost savings initiative progresses.

Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with nearly $11 billion in annual revenue. As one of the world's largest direct sellers, Avon is sold through more than 6 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon products are available in over 100 countries, and the product line includes color cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, fashion and home products, featuring such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, ANEW, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, and mark. Learn more about Avon and its products at www.avoncompany.com.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT FOR PURPOSES OF THE "SAFE HARBOR" STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995

Statements in this release that are not historical facts or information may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "expect," "aim," "will" and similar expressions, or the negative of those expressions, may identify forward-looking statements. They include, among other things, statements regarding our anticipated or expected results, future financial performance, and various strategies and initiatives, including our cost savings initiative, and related charges and savings. Such forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable current assumptions, expectations, plans and forecasts regarding the Company's current or future results and future business and economic conditions more generally. Such forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievement of Avon to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, and there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from management's expectations. Such factors include, among others, the following:

  • our ability to improve our financial and operational performance and execute fully our global business strategy, including our ability to implement the key initiatives of, and realize the projected benefits (in the amounts and time schedules we expect) from, our stabilization strategies, cost savings initiative, multi-year restructuring programs and other initiatives, product mix and pricing strategies, enterprise resource planning, customer service initiatives, sales and operation planning process, outsourcing strategies, Internet platform and technology strategies, information technology and related system enhancements and cash management, tax, foreign currency hedging and risk management strategies, and any plans to invest these projected benefits ahead of future growth;
  • the possibility of business disruption in connection with our stabilization strategies, cost savings initiative, multi-year restructuring programs or other initiatives;
  • our ability to improve our business in North America, including enhancing our Leadership model;
  • our ability to improve working capital and effectively manage doubtful accounts and inventory and implement initiatives to reduce inventory levels, including the potential impact on cash flows and obsolescence;
  • our ability to reverse declines in Active Representatives, to implement our Leadership program globally, to generate Representative activity, to increase the number of consumers served per Representative and their engagement online, to enhance the Representative and consumer experience and increase Representative productivity through field activation programs and technology tools and enablers, execution of Service Model Transformation and other investments in the direct-selling channel, and to compete with other direct-selling organizations to recruit, retain and service Representatives and to continue to innovate the direct-selling model;
  • our ability to reverse declining margins and net income;
  • general economic and business conditions in our markets, including social, economic and political uncertainties in the international markets in our portfolio;
  • our ability to achieve profitable growth, particularly in our largest markets, such as Brazil and the United States ("U.S."), and developing and emerging markets, such as Mexico and Russia, and our ability to realize sustainable growth from our investments in our brand and the direct-selling channel;
  • the effect of economic factors, including inflation and fluctuations in interest rates and currency exchange rates, as well as the designation of Venezuela as a highly inflationary economy, foreign exchange restrictions and the potential effect of such factors on our business, results of operations and financial condition;
  • any developments in or consequences of investigations and compliance reviews, and any litigation related thereto, including the ongoing investigations and compliance reviews of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related U.S. and foreign law matters in China and additional countries, as well as any disruption or adverse consequences resulting from such investigations, reviews, related actions or litigation;
  • a general economic downturn, a recession globally or in one or more of our geographic regions, or sudden disruption in business conditions, and the ability of our broad-based geographic portfolio to withstand an economic downturn, recession, cost inflation, commodity cost pressures, economic or political instability, competitive or other market pressures or conditions;
  • the effect of political, legal, tax and regulatory risks imposed on us in the U.S. and abroad, our operations or our Representatives, including foreign exchange or other restrictions, adoption, interpretation and enforcement of foreign laws, including in non-U.S. jurisdictions such as Brazil, Russia, Venezuela and Argentina, and any changes thereto, as well as reviews and investigations by government regulators that have occurred or may occur from time to time, including, for example, local regulatory scrutiny in China;
  • the impact of changes in tax rates on the value of our deferred tax assets and declining earnings on our ability to realize foreign tax credits in the U.S.;
  • our access to cash, short-term financing, and ability to secure financing or financing at attractive rates;
  • any changes to our credit ratings and the impact of such changes on our financing costs, rates, terms, debt service obligations and access to lending sources; 
  • the impact of any significant restructuring charges or significant legal or regulatory settlements on our ability to comply with certain covenants in our debt instruments;
  • our ability to attract and retain key personnel;
  • competitive uncertainties in our markets, including competition from companies in the cosmetics, fragrances, skincare and toiletries industry, some of which are larger than we are and have greater resources;
  • the impact of the typically seasonal nature of our business, adverse effect of rising energy, commodity and raw material prices, changes in market trends, purchasing habits of our consumers and changes in consumer preferences, particularly given the global nature of our business and the conduct of our business in primarily one channel;
  • other sudden disruption in business operations beyond our control as a result of events such as acts of terrorism or war, natural disasters, pandemic situations, large-scale power outages and similar events;
  • key information technology systems, process or site outages and disruptions;
  • the risk of product or ingredient shortages resulting from our concentration of sourcing in fewer suppliers;
  • the impact of possible pension funding obligations, increased pension expense and any changes in pension regulations or interpretations thereof on our cash flow and results of operations;
  • our ability to successfully identify new business opportunities and strategic alternatives and identify and analyze acquisition candidates, secure financing on favorable terms and negotiate and consummate acquisitions, as well as to successfully integrate or manage any acquired business;
  • the challenges to our businesses, such as Silpada and China, including the effects of rising costs, macro-economic pressures, competition, any potential strategic decisions, including the review of strategic alternatives for Silpada, and the impact of declines in expected future cash flows and growth rates, and a change in the discount rate used to determine the fair value of expected future cash flows, which have impacted, and may continue to impact, the estimated fair value of the recorded goodwill and intangible assets;
  • disruption in our supply chain or manufacturing and distribution operations;
  • the quality, safety and efficacy of our products;
  • the success of our research and development activities;
  • our ability to protect our intellectual property rights; and
  • the risk of an adverse outcome in any material pending and future litigations or with respect to the legal status of Representatives.

Additional information identifying such factors is contained in Item 1A of our 2012 Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2012. We undertake no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.

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