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In fiscal 2008, Henkel increased sales by 8.1% to €14,131 million. The increase is mainly attributable to Henkel’s acquisition of the National Starch businesses in April 2008. After adjusting for foreign exchange, sales rose by 11.6%. Organic sales growth All the company’s business sectors contributed to this organic growth, with laundry & home care and cosmetics/toiletries showing a stronger dynamic. Total organic growth resulted from a 3.2% increase derived from price effects and a volume decline of 0.2%.
“Despite the difficult economic environment, we sustained our very good position in 2008," said Kasper Rorsted, CEO, Henkel. "Once again, all our business sectors were able to outperform their respective markets, with our businesses in the emerging markets making a particularly strong contribution. At the beginning of 2008, we initiated a global efficiency enhancement program in early response to the increasing economic difficulties encountered in the market. With this and the acquisition of the National Starch businesses, we have been able to sustainably strengthen our competitiveness. Moreover, our heightened focus on our strategic priorities is already beginning to yield benefits.
“We know that 2009 is not going to be an easy year. At the moment it is difficult to predict how the economy as a whole is going to develop. However, we are well equipped and confident we will emerge from this difficult economic environment with our position strengthened.”
With organic sales growth of 4.7%, the cosmetics/toiletries business sector significantly outpaced its markets. In nominal terms, sales rose by 1.5% to 3,016 million euros, reflecting both the absence of marginal activities, divested to streamline the portfolio, and the impact of adverse foreign exchange movements. Operating profit increased to €376 million. The hair cosmetics business raised its market shares to new record levels, with major contributions coming from its leading brands and numerous innovations in the coloration, hair care and styling segments. The successful launch of the Coloriste brand, the relaunch of the Brillance brand and the performance of the Palette Permanent Natural line were among the more prominent factors driving this achievement. In the hair care category, the Gliss Kur brand and a comprehensive Schauma relaunch contributed to this very positive performance. In the styling segment, Henkel’s Taft brand consolidated its clear lead in the European market.
The basis for positive developments in the body care business was provided by the new Fa Rice Dry series under the Fa brand and the relaunch of the Fa Yogurt range. Dial brand business performance was boosted by the introduction of various new lines and the launch of the first body care series in the U.S. featuring yogurt proteins. The biggest contribution to the skin care business was made by the Diadermine brand with its successful antiaging innovations.