Avon layoffs eliminate 400 jobs, shut down Ireland operations

Avon layoffs will include more than 400 jobs cuts worldwide, just three months after the 1,500 layoffs in December, when Avon pulled out of Vietnam and South Korea.

Bebeto Matthews / AP / File
Actress and advocate Salma Hayek speaks at the second annual Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women luncheon, March 7, New York. It is unclear what Avon's latest round of downsizing and layoffs means for programs like this one.

Avon is eliminating more than 400 positions and abandoning or restructuring smaller or underperforming businesses in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, including an exit from Ireland.

The company said Monday that the job cuts, which equate to about 1 percent of Avon's 39,100 employees, will occur across all regions and segments. It is part of a turnaround plan under CEO Sheri McCoy, with the goal of achieving mid-single digit percentage revenue growth and $400 million in cost savings by 2016.

Avon expects to complete almost all the cuts before year's end.

The New York company will take charges of around $35 million to $40 million before taxes and expects annualized savings of between $45 million and $50 million.

The jobs cuts come on top of the 1,500 positions trimmed in December, when the company announced that it was exiting Vietnam and South Korea.

The direct seller of beauty products has been struggling to turn around its business at home and in emerging markets. It has also wrestled with a bribery probe in China that began in 2008 and has since spread to other countries.

In its most recent quarter, Avon Products Inc. posted a wider fourth-quarter loss as it marked down the value of its Silpada jewelry business and restructured. It was still better than Wall Street had expected, however, and McCoy, who took over Avon one year ago, said there were signs that business was stabilizing.

Avon Products shares rose 35 cents, or 1.7 percent, to close at $20.61 Monday.

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