February 15, 2018 / 7:18 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Oriflame proposes extra dividend after forecast-beating Q4 profit jump ​

(Adds detail, background)

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Swedish beauty products firm Oriflame reported on Thursday a bigger jump than forecast in fourth-quarter operating profit and unexpectedly proposed an extra dividend for 2017.

* Q4 EBIT +34 pct y/y to 56.3 mln EUR ($70.2 mln) vs mean forecast of 49 mln in Reuters survey of 3 analysts, helped by strong sales growth and cost cuts

* EBIT margin 14.8 pct vs yr-ago 11.8 pct, roughly matching its financial target

* Sales up 7 pct, or 14 pct in local currencies, led by biggest division Asia and Turkey, up 34 pct. Local-currency sales in single-biggest market Russia fell 2 pct

* FY2017 local-currency sales just above target at +11 pct

* Q1 to-date local-currency sales +10 pct

* Oriflame, whose rivals include U.S. Avon, has been reducing its exposure to Russia and other CIS countries in the face of tough market conditions

* CEO Magnus Brannstrom: “We delivered very strong profitability improvements this year, above our expectations. Our strategic categories – Skin Care and Wellness sets and routines – served as significant drivers of growth and price mix development, with further results achieved by the efficiency measures in manufacturing and supply chain”

* Proposes total dividend of 2.60 EUR/share vs. Reuters survey mean forecast 1.55 EUR

* Oriflame’s products, which are sold by direct-selling agents, range from make-up and skincare products to accessories and food additives

* Shares are up 13 pct over 12 months but down 4 pct YTD ($1 = 0.8024 euros) (Reporting By Anna Ringstrom, Editing by Helena Soderpalm)

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