Avon Products, the direct cosmetic seller, has benefited from favourable 'currency tailwinds' in the third quarter as well as strong sales, keeping it well on track to meet, or exceed, its financial targets.
The company said this week that sales in the third quarter of 2003 are expected to rise by about 12 per cent, with dollar-denominated sales growing at a slightly higher rate than local currency sales, which should be up about 11 per cent.
The overall sales growth is being driven by healthy gains in sales of beauty products, along with expected double-digit growth in the number of active representatives and mid-single-digit growth in units, up from the 2 per cent unit gain in the second quarter.
"We believe that this will be Avon's strongest quarter of sales growth since the fourth quarter of 1994," said Andrea Jung, Avon's chairman and chief executive officer.
Adding that the company's largest market - the US - had picked considerably, 'returning to healthy mid-single-digit sales growth'.
"Our third quarter expectations give us continuing confidence that our strategies to accelerate top-line growth and generate the expected benefits from Business Transformation are working," she continued. "Assuming that foreign currencies remain at or near their current levels, we are confident that Avon will achieve its full-year earnings target of $2.60-$2.65 per share."
Avon noted that Europe "continues to generate exceptional results," with third-quarter sales expected to be up in the range of 25 percent in dollars and in the mid-to-high teens in local currencies.