Revlon swings to Q1 profit

April 30 (Reuters) - Revlon Inc (REV.N) posted a surprise first-quarter profit even as net revenue dropped, as sales of its colour cosmetics rose, helping it to gain market share.

Revlon "Enchantment"

Revlon, which sells its products under its namesake, Charlie, Almay and Mitchum brands among others, earned $12.7 million, or 25 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $2.5 million, or 5 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue at the company, controlled by financier Ronald Perelman, dropped to $303.3 million, compared with $$311.7 million in the first quarter of 2008.

The company, which promoted Chief Financial Officer Alan Ennis as Chief Executive on Wednesday, said excluding foreign currency fluctuations of $20.3 million, net sales rose by 3.8 percent.

One analyst was expecting a loss of 23 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revlon, which introduced color-matched nail and lip colours more than 75 years ago, saw U.S. retail sales of color cosmetics grow over 9 percent during the quarter.

Shares of the New York based company had closed at $3.54 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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