S&P Lowers Revlon Credit Rating to ‘CCC+’

"We believe Revlon will face difficulties to meaningfully improve its credit metrics during fiscal 2018," the rating agency says.
Matthew HellerFebruary 8, 2018

Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Revlon’s credit rating further into junk territory, citing the beauty company’s mounting losses amid intense competition in the industry.

S&P said Wednesday it was lowering all its ratings on Revlon, including the corporate credit rating to ‘CCC+’ from ‘B-‘ A rating below ‘BBB’ is generally considered below investment grade.

The downgrade follows Revlon’s report on Jan. 29 that on a preliminary basis, it expected it would lose between roughly $60 million and $80 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a $36.5 million loss a year earlier.

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The company also is projecting an overall net loss for 2017 of roughly $165 million to $185 million, up from $21.9 million in 2016.

The preliminary results “were below our expectations and last year’s results,” S&P said in a news release, noting that Revlon also “burned more cash than we previously expected.”

“Despite sequential performance improvement during the company’s fourth quarter, we believe Revlon will face difficulties to meaningfully improve its credit metrics during fiscal 2018 amid a continuously weak retail environment and intense competition in the beauty industry,” the rating agency said.

As USA Today reports, Revlon, like many traditional retail companies and brands, “has been facing headwinds from more nimble competitors like Sephora and Ulta, which are known for their engaging in-store experiences, as well as the success of online giant Amazon and other beauty sites.”

The company last month also announced that CEO Fabian Garcia would step down after a tenure of less than two years. “This has been a difficult year for us balancing the successful integration of Elizabeth Arden with the rise of e-commerce and specialty beauty stores,” Chairman Ronald Perelman said at the time.

CFO Chris Peterson, however, said Revlon was “gaining momentum on our strategy to respond to the accelerating pace of innovation and increasing migration to digitally-focused consumer engagement.”

S&P did not change Revlon’s credit outlook from stable, reflecting its belief that “the company will deliver modestly better operating performance … and that liquidity will remain adequate over the next 12 months.”