Beiersdorf puts French production facilities up for sale

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Company, Board of directors, Personal care

Global cosmetics giant Beiersdorf has announced the next step in
its restructuring plan with plans to sell off the production and
logistics facilities for its France-based affiliate.

The company said that the move aimed to reduce structural overcapacities, but also stressed that it would be making efforts to retain as many of the employees involved as possible.

The facility, based in Savigny-le-Temple, 30 km south-east of Paris, reportedly had a sales turnover of €354m last year and currently employs a total of 750 people - 209 of whom are involved in production, and 58 in logistics.

A company spokesman said that the intention was to maintain production of Nivea Beauté products at the facility under the leadership of an 'industrial investor', able to take charge of the production and logistics facilities at the site.

Marcus Pinger, from the Beiersdorf executive board, said that the decision had been made by the French management of the plant, and that it met with demands to cut costs as part of the company's intention to realign its consumer supply chain on a worldwide basis.

The French market is important to Beiersdorf, currently representing its second largest market, behind the domestic German market. Indeed the company's latest financial results stress the success of the Nivea Beauté range in France during the past year.

The latest announcement falls in lines with a series of announcements aimed at increasing synergies and cutting back on costs that mainly focus on the company's western European productions facilities.

In July of this year the company said that it was putting up for sale a soap production facility in Hirtler, Germany. The move put 93 jobs in the balance but the company said that it was hoping another personal care company would buy up the facility and retain the staff.

This followed news in March this year that the company was considering the possible closure of manufacturing facilities in Swede, Belgium and the Netherlands, with the potential loss of 400 jobs.

With the company constantly searching out new ways of improving efficiencies, it seems that its 16,000 global workforce is likely to look a little leaner by the end of the year, as part of measures that will eventually save it €100m a year.

The company says that these savings will then be channeled into investing in the company's core brands, particularly in developing markets. Its ultimate aim is to achieve a 5.5 per cent slice of the global market for personal care products by the year 2010, with growth particularly focusing on the markets of China, India, Brazil and Eastern Europe.

Thomas Quaas, executive board chairman, says that the company is looking to build on both its sales and EBIT margins during the course of the coming financial year.

As a result he has underlined three core areas that will be given special attention in the future, including increasing critical consumers, competing against an increasingly aggressive competition and the area of private labels.

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