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Cosmetic giant Avon will cut 1,500 jobs globally

(Reuters) - Avon Products Inc said it will cut about 1,500 jobs globally and will exit the South Korea and Vietnam markets as part of a turnaround plan announced in November.

Last month, the world's largest direct seller of cosmetics slashed its dividend by nearly 74 percent and announced measures to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in costs in the next few years as the company continued to face difficulties in key markets.

Avon estimated the latest round of restructuring would cost in the range of $80-$90 million before taxes, of which about $50-$60 million is expected to be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company expects these steps will account for about 20 percent of the total targeted savings.

Higher product costs, unfavorable exchange rates and ongoing difficulties in key markets like Brazil, the United States and Russia, continued to bedevil Avon in the third quarter and it reported a sharp plunge in profit for the period.

Avon said expects to communicate additional steps toward the cost savings goal as it progresses.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore)

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