Coty Inc. said Friday it plans to “gradually” resume shareholder returns, as the fragrance and cosmetics company has made “substantial” progress in reducing debt and as its operational performance has strengthened. The company is entering into agreements with several banks to start hedging for a $200 million share buyback program that it plans for in 2024. The company said it has lowered its leverage to 4.7X through the end of the fiscal third quarter of 2022, down from about 7X exiting fiscal 2021, and is targeting leverage of 2X by calendar 2025. Leverage is often defined as a ratio of debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda). The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trading, has tumbled 33.6% year to date, while the S&P 500 has declined 15.7%.

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