For the fourth quarteer, Avon anticipates earnings before items of $0.79 a share. Sales are expected to be up 4-5%, thanks to 8-9% growth in sales of beauty products, driven by double-digit increases in the U.S. Avon executives said the growth reflects the company’s strategy to focus resources on its beauty business.
Solid profit growth in the quarter for international operations is expected, with double-digit gains in Europe and Asia more than offsetting an estimated 10% profit decline in Latin America, where currency translation continues to hurt results.
For 2003, Avon forecasted “significant” improvement in margins as benefits of its restructuring initiatives acelerate. The company will again target double-digit earnings a share growth before items for 2003. Cash flow from operations is forecast to be within the company’s predicted range of $500-550 million annually.
“Looking ahead, we are confident in the future of our business,” said Andrea Jung, Avon’s chairman and chief executive, in a statement.