May 2, 2011
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Reviving economy puts gloss on Revlon results

May 2, 2011

April 28 - Cosmetics maker Revlon Inc posted a higher first-quarter profit as shoppers spent more on cosmetics and personal care products in a recovering economy, pushing its shares up 5 percent to a near 1-year high.

Halle Berry for Revlon

New York-based Revlon said sales in its domestic market -- which accounts for about 55 percent of the total -- rose 2.3 percent. At least one analyst had expected U.S. sales to dip.

Like rivals L'Oreal and Elizabeth Arden Inc , Revlon has been helped by a reviving U.S. economy, with customers more ready to treat themselves to items like lipsticks, perfumes and creams.

Total net sales rose 9 percent to $333.2 million.

In a client note, BMO Capital analyst Connie Maneaty said the rise in overall sales was better than her prediction, and she had forecast domestic sales would have fallen 2 percent.

Demand was strong, too, in emerging markets from Latin America to Asia-Pacific, with Latin America up 35 percent, and double-digit gains in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Canada.

Revlon, which was founded during the Great Depression and sells its products under the Charlie and Mitchum brands, posted January-March earnings of $10.4 million, or 20 cents a share, up from $2.2 million, or 4 cents a share, a year ago.

Revlon shares last traded at $17.09 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Arpita Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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