NEW YORK, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) today announced a 5% increase in its regular quarterly dividend. The new dividend rate will be $.22 per common share, up from $.21 per share, beginning with the first-quarter dividend payable March 1, 2010, to shareholders of record February 23, 2010.
On an annualized basis, the new indicated dividend rate would increase to $.88 per share from $.84 per share.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.2 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty products, as well as fashion and home products, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, and Mark. Learn more about Avon and its products at www.avoncompany.com.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT FOR PURPOSES OF THE "SAFE HARBOR" STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995
Statements in this release that are not historical facts or information are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "estimate," "project," "forecast," "plan," "believe," "may," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "planned," "potential," "can," "expectation" and similar expressions, or the negative of those expressions, may identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable current assumptions and expectations. Such forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievement of Avon to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, and there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from management's expectations. Such factors include, among others, the following:
- our ability to implement the key initiatives of, and realize the gross and operating margins and projected benefits (in the amounts and time schedules we expect) from, our global business strategy, including our multi-year restructuring initiatives, product mix and pricing strategies, enterprise resource planning, customer service initiatives, product line simplification program, sales and operation planning process, strategic sourcing initiative, outsourcing strategies, zero-overhead-growth philosophy, Internet platform and technology strategies, cash flow from operations and cash management, tax, foreign currency hedging and risk management strategies;
- our ability to realize the anticipated benefits (including any projections concerning future revenue and operating margin increases) from our multi-year restructuring initiatives or other strategic initiatives on the time schedules or in the amounts that we expect, and our plans to invest these anticipated benefits ahead of future growth;
- the possibility of business disruption in connection with our multi-year restructuring initiatives or other strategic initiatives;
- our ability to realize sustainable growth from our investments in our brand and the direct-selling channel;
- a general economic downturn, a recession globally or in one or more of our geographic regions, such as North America, or sudden disruption in business conditions, and the ability of our broad-based geographic portfolio to withstand such economic downturn, recession or conditions;
- the effect of political, legal, tax and regulatory risks imposed on us, our operations or our Representatives, including foreign exchange or other restrictions, interpretation and enforcement of foreign laws including any changes thereto, as well as reviews and investigations by government regulators that have occurred or may occur from time to time, including, for example, local regulatory scrutiny in China;
- the inventory obsolescence and other costs associated with our product line simplification program;
- our ability to effectively implement initiatives to reduce inventory levels in the time period and in the amounts we expect;
- our ability to achieve growth objectives or maintain rates of growth, particularly in our largest markets and developing and emerging markets, such as Brazil;
- our ability to successfully identify new business opportunities and identify and analyze acquisition candidates, and our ability to negotiate and consummate acquisitions as well as to successfully integrate or manage any acquired business;
- the effect of economic factors, including inflation and fluctuations in interest rates and currency exchange rates, as well as the designation of Venezuela as a highly inflationary economy, and the potential effect of such factors on our business, results of operations and financial condition;
- our ability to successfully transition and evolve our business in China in connection with the development and evolution of the direct-selling business in that market, our ability to operate using a direct-selling model permitted in that market and our ability to retain and increase the number of Active Representatives there over a sustained period of time;
- general economic and business conditions in our markets, including social, economic and political uncertainties in the international markets in our portfolio;
- any consequences of internal investigations and compliance reviews that we conduct from time to time, including the ongoing investigation of our China operations and the review of our practices relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related U.S. and foreign laws in additional countries, as well as any business disruption resulting from such investigations, reviews or related measures we may implement from time to time;
- information technology systems outages, disruption in our supply chain or manufacturing and distribution operations, or other sudden disruption in business operations beyond our control as a result of events such as acts of terrorism or war, natural disasters, pandemic situations and large scale power outages;
- the risk of product or ingredient shortages resulting from our concentration of sourcing in fewer suppliers;
- the quality, safety and efficacy of our products;
- the success of our research and development activities;
- our ability to attract and retain key personnel and executives;
- competitive uncertainties in our markets, including competition from companies in the cosmetics, fragrances, skin care and toiletries industry, some of which are larger than we are and have greater resources;
- our ability to implement our Sales Leadership program globally, to generate Representative activity, to increase the number of consumers served per Representative and their engagement online, to enhance the Representative and consumer experience and increase Representative productivity through investments in the direct-selling channel, and to compete with other direct-selling organizations to recruit, retain and service Representatives;
- the impact of the seasonal nature of our business, adverse effect of rising energy, commodity and raw material prices, changes in market trends, purchasing habits of our consumers and changes in consumer preferences, particularly given the global nature of our business and the conduct of our business in primarily one channel;
- our ability to protect our intellectual property rights;
- the risk of an adverse outcome in our material pending and future litigations;
- our ratings and our access to financing and ability to secure financing at attractive rates; and
- the impact of possible pension funding obligations, increased pension expense and any changes in pension regulations or interpretations thereof on our cash flow and results of operations.
Additional information identifying such factors is contained in Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Avon Products, Inc.