The company reported that sales grew bu 6.0 per cent in organic terms to €1.54bn, compared to €1.44bn in the corresponding period in 2009. Taking in the positive effect of currency exchange rates, the figure showed an increase of 6.9 per cent.
The increase in sales, combined with cost cutting measures, meant that the company reported a strong increase in its EBIT margin, which was up 12.1 per cent to €186m, compared to €145m in the corresponding quarter last year.
The results breakdown showed that the mainstay consumers goods division, which holds the global Nivea brand, recorded sales growth of 4.0 per cent to €1.33bn, compared to sales of €1.27bn for the corresponding period in 2009.
Weaker performance in Europe
The figures for the consumer division represented a weaker performance in the Western European market, with sales falling slightly in its largest market, Germany, and the figure for the rest of Europe growing by 1.0 per cent to €469m, while sales in Eastern Europe slipped 2.7 per cent in organic terms to €150m.
In North America a comprehensive promotional campaign led to an organic sales increase of 22.3 percent to €94m, while in Latin America organic sales increased 20.7 per cent to €110m.
Organic sales in the Africa/Asia/Australia region rose by 4.0 per cent to €269m, driven by a 23.4 per cent rise in sales from the Middle East region and a 4.5 per cent rise in Chain sales. However, the figure was counterbalanced by an 8.4 per cent fall in Australian sales.
Back to growth but still not meeting expansion goals
CEO Thomas Quaas said the performance underlined that the company was ’back on a growth path’, though he did mention that results have so far not matched the company’s expansion goals.
“In order to leverage our growth potential even more effectively, we are focusing more strongly on our core competencies while at the same time increasing our regional flexibility in Europe, Asia and the Americas in particular. This will ensure that our business can stand out even more from the crowd,” Quaas said.
The tesa division grew sales by 20.2 per cent in organic terms to €209m, mainly driven by customers in the industrial and automotive categories.
Looking to the full fiscal year 2010, the company said it beleives that it should acheive organic sales growth in excess of the market, while the EBIT margin is likely to increase to 11 per cent