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Announcing its financial results for the first half of 2012, Beiersdorf AG’s business development was in line with company expectations. Organically, group sales rose by 2.6%, and in nominal terms, they increased by 5.5% on the previous year, from €2,901 million to €3,062 million. The operating result (EBIT) excluding special factors rose by 11.6% to €390 million (previous year: €350 million). The corresponding EBIT margin climbed to 12.7% (previous year: 12.0%). The main driver for the improvement in earnings was the company’s positive development in the emerging markets.
Stefan F. Heidenreich, chairman of the executive board of Beiersdorf, said of the results, “On the whole, we are satisfied with how business developed in the first half of the year. The numbers reflect the first fruits of Beiersdorf’s strategic realignment. They show that we can generate profitable growth even under difficult macroeconomic conditions. We are on the right track with our moves to strengthen our brands and innovative capabilities, as well as expanding our presence and impact on the emerging markets.”
In the consumer business segment, Beiersdorf increased its sales organically by 2.5% in the first six months of the current fiscal year. EBIT excluding special factors rose from €294 million in the previous year to €327 million, up 11.3%. The corresponding EBIT margin increased to 12.8% from the prior-year figure of 12.1%. Reasons for this include the successful realignment of corporate structures and processes, and the improvement of business in China. All of the company’s core brands contributed to sales growth, led by an increase of 4.4% at Nivea, 3.1% at Eucerin, and 2.7% at La Prairie.
Business development in the reporting regions was mixed, and was frequently influenced by macroeconomic developments in the individual countries. Impacted by the streamlining of the product portfolio in 2011, the weakening economy, and the prevailing poor consumer climate in most cases, Beiersdorf recorded a decline in sales of 4% in Western Europe. Sales in Germany were down 2.2% on the previous year. The company generated strong growth of 8.1% in the Eastern European markets. The key driver was the increase in sales recorded in the Russian growth market, while sales rose by 8% in the Americas. In the Latin America focus region in particular, Beiersdorf generated a strong increase in sales of 14.3%. The growth rate in Brazil was particularly pronounced. Sales in the North American market were down 2% on the previous year. And business performance in the Africa/Asia/Australia region was encouraging, with 9.6% sales growth compared with the previous year. Beiersdorf generated strong sales growth in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.
Beiersdorf’s consumer business segment is forecasting sales growth of around 3% for 2012. The operating EBIT margin should be approximately 12%.