Beiersdorf increased sales in the first quarter of 2012 by 6.9 per cent compared to the previous year, with the consumer business segment recording growth of 6.8 per cent.
The operating result (EBIT) excluding special factors amounted to €198m. The EBIT margin was 12.9 per cent, whilst consolidated profit after tax was the same as the previous year, at €125m.
However, it was Nivea, the brand that the company has been focusing its efforts on in a bid to gain back market share from its rivals, which was the stand out performer posting double-digit sales growth.
Nivea brands excelling
The brand’s Deo, Sun, and Body Care recorded extremely good growth rates, whilst sales of Nivea Hair were hit due to the streamlining of the product range in 2011.
Elsewhere in skin care, Eucerin continued its positive sales trend, recording a 7.8 per cent increase, but the La Prairie brand declined 1.2 per cent compared with the previous year.
Sales growth in Europe was steady, boosted by strong figures in its native Germany, offset by nominal growth in Western Europe.
Sales in Germany rose by 6 per cent thanks to the sales of Nivea Deo and Body Cleansing. At 1 per cent, sales growth in Western Europe was up only slightly on the prior-year figure overall.
The UK, Spain, and Italy performed particularly well as Nivea Sun, Deo, and Body Cleansing saw extremely strong growth.
Emerging markets doing well
Eastern Europe was a standout performer for Beiersdorf as sales climbed 10.3 per cent. Russia and Poland in particular saw healthy sales growth, while Ukraine remained on a level with the previous year.
As with the rest of Europe, Nivea brands were the driving force behind growth, with its Men’s Care range doing particularly well here.
Men’s Care also performed well in North America; however this wasn’t enough to aid growth in the regions, as figures were on a par with the previous year.
In contrast, Latin America saw sales growth of 16 per cent, driven by strong growth rates in Brazil and strong increases in most other key markets. As Nivea’s Deo, Sun and Body cleansing shone once more.