UPDATE 1-Avon Products revenue falls short as more sales representatives drop out

(Adds segment details, background on company’s turnaround)

Aug 1 (Reuters) - Avon products Inc missed estimates for quarterly revenue on Thursday as it had fewer representatives to sell its products in some of its main markets, with Europe, Middle East and Africa seeing the worst dip in sales.

London-based Avon, which is being bought by The Body Shop owner Natura Cosmeticos SA, has been battling falling sales for four years, hit by stiff competition as well as a drop in the number of sales representatives.

In a bid to turn itself around, the 133 year-old company has been trying to reboot its direct selling business model operations under the “Open up Avon” initiative, which involves training and retaining its sales representatives popularly called “Avon Ladies”.

Despite the efforts, the number of active representatives, who go door-to-door selling Avon cosmetics and creams, dropped 10% in the quarter.

Revenue fell across board. In Europe, Middle East and Africa sales fell 15%. Sales in South America, which the company breaks into “South Latin America” and “North Latin America”, were also down.

Total revenue fell 13% to $1.17 billion, missing analysts’ average estimate of $1.24 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net loss attributable to the company narrowed to $19.5 million, or 6 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, from $36.1 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 6 cents per share, beating analysts estimate of 3 cents per share. (Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru Editing by Arun Koyyur and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)