Q2 Sales, Net Income Rise at Avon

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Avon Products Inc., New York, announced yesterday that sales in the second quarter rose 8 percent to $1.64 billion from $1.51 billion in the year-ago period.


The company estimated that the effect of SARS, mainly in China and Taiwan, reduced second-quarter consolidated sales growth by about 1 percent.


Sales were driven by a 14 percent increase in beauty products and a 14 percent gain in the number of active representatives.


Also, operating profit climbed 15 percent. Net income improved 11 percent to $171.5 million in the quarter from $155 million in second-quarter 2002.


Cash flow from operations totaled $153 million, down $53 million from a year ago, due mainly to a tax payment of $48 million and a $20 million contribution to the company's U.S. pension plan in the quarter.


"Our international operations, as expected, drove results in the quarter, with sales up 12 percent and operating profits up 20 percent," chairwoman/CEO Andrea Jung said in a statement.


In the United States, sales growth accelerated to 3 percent and profit was flat with the prior year. Both results were in line with expectations.


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