Avon Products Posts Higher Profits, Outpacing Analysts' Estimates

Avon Products, the direct seller of beauty products, said fourth-quarter earnings rose slightly from a year ago, helped in part by higher sales of fragrances and cosmetics.

The company earned $184.1 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with $183.2 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier.

Results in the latest period included costs of about $44 million tied to its ongoing restructuring program.

Revenue rose 9.4% to $2.62 billion from $2.4 billion, with sales growth in all categories.

According to Thomson Financial, analysts were expecting Avon to earn 38 cents a share on revenue of $2.56 billion.

The quarter brings to an end a year, called by Avon to be a transitional one. The company unveiled a comprehensive restructuring plan in late 2005, which included cutting jobs and increasing advertising spending, among other steps, to win back customers who have cut down on purchases or switched to competitors with new skin care products.

Avon, of New York, will hold a conference call and webcast at 9 am New York time.