Revlon Acquires Colomer

Revlon’s Got Staying Power

In the midst of the worst economic crisis that the world has experienced since the Great Depression, Revlon has somehow managed to finallyregister positive net income for the year. Yes, Revlon. The company that had not been in the black for over a decade. The one whose main competitors—L‘Oréal and P&G (both of which have suffered during the crisis)—are the strongest in the industry. The one whose largest account is penny-pinching Wal-Mart. The one that has had more leadership changes than I can remember. And I ask myself, how is this possible? If anything I would have expected Revlon to sink deeper into its pool of red ink.

Granted, it’s not the most earth shattering profit ever recorded… a meager $57.9 million net gain in 2008 is dwarfed by its losses of recent years… but it’s the directional change that is remarkable, especially during these times. A positive change that has continued into Q1 09 as the recession deepened.

So what is Revlon doing differently? Upon further inspection I’m afraid I’m still left scratching my head. There are some modest explanations behind this change (income gained from discontinued operations, some successful new product launches, a consumer shift from professional to at-home use), but nothing especially extraordinary.

Whatever it is, Revlon, congratulations! You are the pioneer of the long-lasting trend. Here’s to hoping your profit lasts too!

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