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Oriflame Cosmetics Soars on Dividend and 2012 Margin Outlook

Oriflame Cosmetics SA, a seller of cosmetics at parties hosted in private homes, rose the most in over three years in Stockholm trading after it raised the dividend and said it targets an improved operating margin.

Oriflame rose as much 20 percent, the biggest jump since Nov. 4. 2008, and was the third-biggest gainer in the Stockholm All-Share Index and the second-biggest in the STOXX Europe 600. The shares of the Luxembourg-based company advanced 12 percent, or 26.40 kronor, to 243.60 kronor as of 2:38 p.m.

Oriflame posted a 44 percent drop in profit to 31.2 million euros ($41.1 million), matching the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 11 analysts. The company said it will focus on improving its operating margin in the current year and raised its dividend payout to 1.75 euros from 1.50 euros, compared with a prediction of 1.5 euros for 2011, according to a Bloomberg dividend forecast.

“2011 was a challenging year,” Chief Executive Officer Magnus Braennstroem said on a conference call. “For 2012, the focus is to reverse the sales trend and return to growth with improved operating margin.”

Oriflame, which markets makeup in more than 60 countries through a direct sales force of more than 3 million, posted a sales decline of 7.1 percent to 408.7 million euros in the quarter, compared with the average estimate of 403.3 million. The operating margin before restructuring costs was 12.8 percent and 11 percent for the full year.

Avon Products Inc., the door-to-door cosmetics seller based in New York, on Feb. 14 reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $400,000 and said 2012 will be a year of transition and predicted margins wouldn’t improve.

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