Revlon cuts workforce, drops Vital Radiance

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Company, Baby boomer, Vital radiance

In answer to concerns over its financial position Revlon has taken
the decision to cut its workforce and drop the badly received Vital
Radiance cosmetics line for older women.

The company, which is controlled by finanicier Ronald Perleman, hit the skids after the multi-million dollar launch of Vital Radiance turned out to be a flop with consumers.

Only last week the company announced the departure of CEO Jack, Stahl, who has been replaced by the company's chief financial officer David Kennedy.

But despite the move, the company's share price has continued to slide, forcing it take more radical action in an effort to restore investor confidence and to try and put the company back on track.

Currently shares are trading at around $1 each, compared to a year high of just over $4, with shares falling 60 per cent since the beginning of this year.

Stating that the move was part of its ongoing cost reduction and margin improvement program, the company says it will cut 250 jobs, or 8 per cent of its workforce.

The job cuts carry related charges of approximately $29m, of which the company says it is hoping to save $34m a year. The cuts will involve consolidating existing job functions and reducing the number of layers in management positions.

It will also mean streamlining support functions, eliminating certain senior executive positions and consolidating a number of facilities, the company said.

"We expect these actions to result in significant and sustainable savings for the company, and I am confident that the individuals assuming greater responsibility and decision- making will be more effective in their roles moving forward,"​ said Kennedy, who added his belief that the company was now better positioned for 2007.

The company also said that it had decided to scrap the Vital Radiance line with immediate effect, rather than continue market and incur sustained losses.

Revlon had pinned hopes of turning around its performance on the launch of the line, which first hit stores shelves at the end of last year. The company was hoping that increasing expenditure on cosmetic products by the now ageing baby boomer generation would make the line a top seller.

However that problems with distribution problems combined with the fact that it did not prove to be an instantaneous hit with the target consumer group - women aged 45 plus - meant that it made better financial sense to pull the range immediately.

Revlon is saddled with approximately $1.4bn in debts, and with the latest set back it looks like refinancing will be the only solution to get it through a difficult period.

The company says that net sales are expected to be in the range of $280m to $290m for the up and coming third quarter, leading to a net loss of approximately $135m. That should translate into full year sales of approximately $1.34bn with adjusted EBITDA of $75m - 85m.

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