Avon Cosmetics has announced that it has ceased trading in Ireland as part of a company-wide cost cutting initiative.

Avon representatives and managers were informed of the decision via email today.

In a short statement on its Irish website, the cosmetic company said that any customers with questions should contact their local reps and they should, in turn, contact their business developers.

Avon Products Inc said the withdrawal from the Irish market is part of a wider attempt to save $400 million by 2016, through the restructuring or closure of under-performing markets.

The company will reduce its number of associates by 400 as part of its plan, which will also involve changes in other European countries as well as Middle East and African markets.

"We continue to work aggressively toward turning around the business," said the company's CEO Sheri McCoy in a statement.

"The steps outlined today take us closer to our cost-savings goal. At the same time, we remain focused on continuing to streamline the business and driving top-line growth."