UPDATE 2-Avon expects profit from N. America in 2015
* Expects improved results in second half 2014
* Q2 revenue falls 13 pct, but Brazil improves (Adds details from conference call, analyst comment, updates shares)
By Devika Krishna Kumar
July 31 (Reuters) - Avon Products Inc, a direct seller of cosmetics, said it expects its North American business to turn profitable in 2015 as it cuts costs and introduces more incentives for its sales representatives.
The company's shares rose as much as 8 percent in early trading on Thursday, making the stock one of the top percentage gainers on the S&P 500 index.
Avon, which reported its seventh straight quarter of operating loss in North America, said it hired a "chief representative officer" for the region and would upgrade its website in September in a bid to retain its representatives.
The new website will allow representatives, called "Avon Ladies", to reach more shoppers by increasing their online presence.
The company has had troubles bringing in new representatives and holding on to its existing ones in North America, which contributes about 14 percent to its total revenue.
The cosmetics maker said in June it would cut about 600 jobs, largely in its North America unit, and said it expected restructuring efforts to save about $50-$55 million a year. Continuación...