Avon misses estimates as sales reps drop out

The Avon Products headquarters is seen in midtown Manhattan area of New York, June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Avon Products' AVP.N third-quarter profit and sales missed estimates as the U.S. cosmetics maker struggled to retain its salespeople in all markets, particularly Brazil and Russia.

The company’s active representatives - salespersons who go door-to-door selling cosmetics - declined 5 percent in the quarter ended September 30.

Total revenue was flat at $1.42 billion, including a one-time $168 million tax reversal in Brazil.

Excluding the benefit, revenue fell 11 percent to $1.25 billion missing the analysts’ average estimate of $1.32 billion, according to Refinitiv data .

Adjusted sales in South Latin America, one of its biggest markets, fell 19 percent, due to the drop in representatives and a decrease in orders in Brazil.

“While we are not yet satisfied with the overall quarterly results, I am encouraged by the speed at which initiatives are being adopted in our markets,” Chief Executive Officer Jan Zijderveld said.

Excluding one-time items Avon reported a break-even profit, missing analysts’ average estimate of 1 cent, according to Refinitiv.

Benefiting from the Brazil tax reversal, Avon’s net income rose to $114.5 million or 21 cents per share in the three months ended Sept. 30, from $12.5 million or 1 cent per share a year earlier.

Reporting by Uday Sampath and Jaslein Mahil in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sweta Singh