Beiersdorf looks to Central and Eastern Europe to maintain growth

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Eastern europe Marketing

Germany-based Beiersdorf has identified Central and Eastern Europe
as a key driver for the company although market growth in the
region is slowing.

The owner of the Nivea brand has already established a significant presence in Central and Eastern Europe with sales increasing 16 per cent in 2007 to €311m.

The region is now the second largest in the group and will continue to play an important role in the company's expansion plans with double-digit growth expected in 2008.

The beauty market in Eastern Europe has grown rapidly over the past decade and is still expanding at double-digit rates although growth has steadily decelerated in recent years, according to figures from the market research firm Euromonitor.

Sales growth on the decline Annual sales growth in the cosmetics and toiletries market has fallen gradually from 21.2 per cent in 2002 to 11.3 per cent last year to $20.9bn.

Overall growth figures are slowing as the market matures although breaking down the Euromonitor figures suggests high double-digit growth is still achievable in the market for more sophisticated products.

Picking out two categories for comparison, premium cosmetics sales increased 15 per cent last year whereas deodorant sales grew by only 8.2 per cent.

Beiersdorf will be looking to carry on achieving growth figures ahead of the market in Central and Eastern Europe by targeting growing niches and expanding its market share.

Company aims for double-digit growth "Our strategic direction is clear.

We will leverage all our resources to again achieve double-digit growth in 2008," said Ulrich Schmidt, managing director of Beiersdorf CEE.

In order to facilitate its expansion plans in the Central and Eastern Europe, Beiersdorf is holding discussions with transport firms to take over the running of the region's logistics hub in Vienna.

The company also announced its intention to make some personnel changes, the details of which will be communicated soon.

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