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Procter & Gamble reportedly to discontinue Max Factor makeup brand in U.S.

Cincinnati-based consumer products maker Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) plans to discontinue U.S. distribution of the century-old American makeup brand Max Factor in early 2010 as it has a limited market share in the country, media reported on Thursday.

Procter & Gamble also plans to keep selling Max Factor, the pioneer of Hollywood makeup artistry, overseas in more than 70 countries, where its sales have been strongest. The brand's international sales contribute most of its $1.2 billion in annual sales. Max Factor ranks among the top brands in strategically important markets such as Russia and the United Kingdom, the company reportedly stated.

Procter & Gamble bought Max Factor from Revlon in 1991 as part of a billion-dollar cosmetics assets deal meant to build P&G's share of the mass-market beauty sector. The Max Factor brand is currently sold in fewer than 8,000 U.S. stores, a fraction of the footprint of its CoverGirl brand, which spans an estimated 50,000 stores, reports quoted a Procter & Gamble spokeswoman as saying. The two brands are sold widely by U.S. drugstores and other large retailers and online. By pulling Max Factor from the U.S., Procter & Gamble hopes to focus its extra resources on the CoverGirl brand, which has increased its U.S. market share for the past seven years.

PG closed Thursday's trading at $53.35, down $0.46, on a volume of 9.99 million shares.

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