In nominal terms, sales increased by 6.9%, from €1.596 billion to €1.706 billion, with both the adhesives business and the consumer segment, which accounts for 80% of group sales and includes its skin and hair care brands, contributing.
“Business performance in the first three months of 2015 was in line with our forecast. Our sales were better than last year´s comparable high quarter. Our consolidated EBIT margin marked a new record level for Beiersdorf,” says Stefan F. Heidenreich, CEO of Beiersdorf.
“After laying some important groundwork in the first quarter, we will pick up momentum over the coming months and consequently continue on our profitable growth path.”
The Consumer Business Segment delivered a sales increase of 6.7%, from €1.323 billion in the previous year to €1.411 billion, and the German firm, whose skin care brands also include Eucerin and La Prairie, confirmed its forecasts for the year of ‘above-market’ 3-5% increase in sales and a slight improvement in its operating-profit margin compared to last year.
The big movers for Beiersdorf in the first quarter were in Eastern Europe which recorded strong growth of 9.9%, particularly in Poland and Russia, which is also where local rival Henkel saw a sales increase.
However things were not so rosy in Western Europe and the company’s homeland, as although Spain and France saw clear increases, sales in Germany, the UK, Italy, and in Switzerland remained below last year’s level, contributing to a 2.1% decline in sales for the region.
This offset the strong performance in Eastern Europe and sales growth in Europe amounted to 0.1% in total.
In the Americas region, Beiersdorf lifted sales by 7.8%, with growth being particularly strong in Latin America, increasing its sales by 9.4% in this region, led once again by Brazil. North America recorded sales growth of 5.3%.
Sales in the Africa/Asia/Australia region fell by 2.5% against last year. This was primarily attributable to declining sales in China. Clear sales growth was achieved in India, South Africa, and Turkey.