Latest victim of retail downturn, Revlon tumbles 23 percent

FILE PHOTO - A Public Safety officer keeps watch as people stand in front of a billboard owned by Revlon that takes their pictures and displays them in Times Square in the Manhattan borough of New York October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Revlon REV.N slumped 23 percent on Friday and were headed for their biggest one-day drop since the financial crisis after the cosmetics company said declining mall traffic hurt its quarterly sales.

The company posted a first-quarter loss and was the latest example of the troubling retail environment facing brick-and-mortar stores as consumer tastes change and spending shifts to the internet.

“Most of our U.S. retail partners experienced lesser foot traffic, store closures and shopper channel shifting to online and beauty specialty retail,” Chief Executive Fabian Garcia said on a quarterly conference call.

“Although beauty remains a growth category in the U.S., where and how consumers shop for beauty is evolving,” Garcia said.

Revlon said its quarterly revenue rose 34.3 percent to $595 million, helped by the acquisition of Elizabeth Arden last year.

But on a pro forma basis, sales dropped 5.8 percent year over year, a major setback for a company that was once a top name in the world of beauty products.

Just over 13 percent of U.S. retailers are at the distressed tier of Moody’s ratings spectrum, the highest percentage since the 2008-2009 recession, Moody’s debt rating service said in February.

The New York-company’s stock was down 23 percent at $19.40, the lowest level since 2013. The last time Revlon fell more than 23 percent in one day was 2008.

Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Bernard Orr