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Avon Undaunted by Corruption Probe

Avon Products reiterated its ongoing cooperation with the SEC and the Department of Justice in foreign bribery investigations as it reported a better-than-expected first quarter.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Avon Products (AVP) - Get Avon Products, Inc. Report on Friday reiterated its ongoing cooperation with the SEC and the Department of Justice in foreign bribery investigations in connection with its business dealings, as it reported first-quarter outcome that beat Wall Street expectations.

Avon said costs from the investigation increased during the quarter.

Avon's first-quarter net income was $43 million, or 10 cents a share, a decline from $117 million, or 27 cents a share a year ago. Excluding the impact of Venezuelan special items and restructuring costs, Avon's net income was $144 million, or 33 cents a share, versus $127 million or 30 cents a share the year before, beating the consensus estimate by a penny.

Revenue rose 14% to $2.5 billion -- compared with the average revenue estimate of $2.46 billion -- with beauty sales up 14%; active representative growth of 6%; with growth in all regions except China. Active representatives were down 25% there.

Advertising for the quarter was $96 million, up 23% from $78 million in last year's period. Advertising was up 12% in constant dollars driven by continued investment in representative recruitment.

Avon stock has risen 0.6% to $32.86 in midday trading.

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-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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