Beiersdorf's Performance Takes Hit in Q1 2009

According to a company statement, the global economic climate has impacted the first quarter of 2009 at the Beiersdorf Group. The picture on the skin and beauty care market in the first quarter was very mixed. With the exception of Germany, a majority of markets in the major industrialized nations declined, while the rate of increase in growth markets such as China, Brazil and Eastern Europe clearly slowed.

According to preliminary figures, group sales in the first quarter of 2009 were down 4.0% on the prior-year period on a like-for-like basis (i.e., adjusted for currency translation effects and the effects of the sale of BODE Chemie and the Futuro business). Nominal sales amounted to €1,438 million (previous year: €1,523 million). The operating result (EBIT) was roughly €145 million (previous year excluding special factors: €195 million). This corresponds to an EBIT margin of roughly 10.1% (previous year: 12.9%).

"Our global consumer markets are recording mixed performance and are dominated by a hesitancy to spend. Nevertheless, we were able to maintain our consumer business at last year's high level in the first quarter," said Thomas-B. Quaas, chairman of the executive board of Beiersdorf AG. "According to the information currently at our disposal, we expect the global market to contract slightly. However, we are confident that we shall again succeed in outperforming the market in 2009, and are therefore forecasting sales for the consumer business segment that are slightly in excess of last year. Thanks to our sound financial position, we shall continue to invest in the market with the aim of maintaining our consumer EBIT margin above 10% in this difficult environment."

Like-for-like sales in the consumer business segment in the first quarter of 2009 were roughly on a level with the prior year's very high figure, at -0.5%. Sales growth in many markets was impacted by destocking at retail partners. Nominal sales amounted to €1,267 million (previous year: €1,299 million). The operating result declined to roughly €144 million (previous year: €171 million), while the EBIT margin was roughly 11.3% (previous year: 13.2%).

"We are expecting the difficult sales trend at tesa to continue during the current year," said Quaas. For this reason, additional measures are being planned to ensure tesa's structural earnings ability, he added. At the same time, planned investments in new technologies aimed at strengthening tesa's position on the global market in the long term will be systematically continued.

Beiersdorf's interim report for the months of January to March 2009, in which it will provide details of developments in the first quarter of 2009, will be published on May 5, 2009.

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