THE BUSINESSWEEK 50 RANKINGS + 25

13

Avon Products

Over the past 18 months, CEO Andrea Jung has had to make some tough choices at Avon. After six years of racking up 10%-plus annual revenue growth, the consumer products giant stumbled badly in 2005 as problems cropped up around the globe. Developing markets such as Central Europe that had been key to Avon’s growth hit road blocks, and sales in the U.S. and Mexico stalled. Concluding that Avon needed a true makeover, Jung cut 7 of her 15 levels of management and instituted a more rigorous analytical approach to marketing and other business decisions. Manufacturing and marketing moves once made by country managers are now largely centralized with a more efficient global approach. To offset the cutbacks, Jung has invested heavily in advertising (up 83% in 2006) and improved compensation for some of her direct-sales representatives. The company, which already collects more than 70% of its revenues outside of the U.S., has continued its focus on emerging markets, recruiting 399,000 new salespeople in China in less than a year.

Overall Grade

A

Market Data

AVP

Market Value
(2/28/2007)

$16.2 Billion

Profitability*

65.1%

A

Sales Growth Rate**

8.2%

B-

12-Month Sales

$8.8 Billion

12-Month Net Income

$0.5 Billion

Total Return Past 12 Months

29.9%

Past 36 Months

10.0%

Economic SectorConsumer Staples
IndustryPersonal Products
The overall sector letter grade reflects how the weighted average of the return on income, or return on equity, and sales growth grades compare with others in the same sector. For the overall grade as well as the ROE/ROI and sales growth grades, an "A" places a company in the top 7% of its sector and an "A-" in the top 14% of the sector. The actual ranking was done using the underlying numerical measures. Grades are for information only.
* For nonfinancial companies, three-year average pretax operating profit before interest and special items as a percentage of average invested capital. For financial companies, pretax profits as a percentage of average shareholder's equity.
*Three-year average annual sales growth based on the most recently reported 36 months, calculated using the least-squares method.

Andrea Jung

Andrea Jung, 48

CEO since 1999


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Data as of 2/28/07 provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat