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 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.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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