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Avon cutting hundreds of jobs; leaves Ireland

NEW YORK — Avon is eliminating more than 400 positions and abandoning or restructuring smaller or underperforming businesses in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, including an exit from Ireland.

The company said Monday the job cuts, which equate to about 1 percent of Avon’s 39,100 employees, will occur across all regions and segments. It is part of a turnaround plan under CEO Sheri McCoy, with the goal of achieving mid-single digit percentage revenue growth and $400 million in cost savings by 2016.

Avon expects to complete almost all the cuts before year’s end.

The New York company will take charges of around $35 million to $40 million before taxes and expects annualized savings of between $45 million and $50 million.

McCoy, who became CEO in April 2012, announced in December that the company would leave Vietnam and South Korea and that it would cut 1,500 jobs in all.

The direct seller of beauty products has been struggling to turn around its business at home and in emerging markets. It has also wrestled with a bribery probe in China that began in 2008 and has since spread to other countries.

In its most recent quarter, Avon Products Inc. posted a wider fourth-quarter loss as it marked down the value of its Silpada jewelry business and restructured. It was still better than Wall Street had expected, however, and McCoy said there were signs that business was stabilizing.



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