Avon Products, Inc. reported first-quarter 2009 total revenue of $2.2 billion, 13% lower than that of 2008's first quarter, but up 3% on a local-currency basis as foreign exchange pressured growth by 16 percentage points. Beauty sales in the first quarter 2009 were 12% lower versus the prior-year period, but increased 5% on a local-currency basis. Beauty units increased 2%, and units overall were flat with the prior-year quarter. Active representatives grew 7%.
"We plan to leverage the inherent advantages of our direct selling business model during this time of uncertainty," said Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO, Avon. "We are offering consumers an increased assortment of 'smart value' products—great quality products at affordable price points—which contributed to beauty unit growth of 2% in the quarter. We are also aggressively promoting our representative earnings opportunity to a wider audience. The early strength of this new recruiting effort reflects the growing relevance of the Avon earnings opportunity.
"Despite the current challenges of foreign exchange and the global economic recession, we see this as a moment of opportunity. We intend to leverage our unique brand and direct-selling channel advantages in order to gain market share. Coupled with our multi-year turnaround strategy, we will use this moment to emerge a stronger and more competitive company in the future."