May 5, 2011
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Nivea maker Beiersdorf says revamp on track

May 5, 2011

May 5 - Nivea-maker Beiersdorf said plans to rejuvenate the business were on track as a slimmer product range weighed on sales and profits at its key consumer business in the first-quarter.

Beiersdorf, Nivea
Nivea tins in the Beiersdorf production factory on the conveyor belt after being filled, ready to be packed and transported in Hamburg, Germany

Beiersdorf is fighting to claw back lost market share and profitability by revamping its product range and investing in its core Nivea brand.

Sales at its consumer division in the first three months fell 1.6 percent to 1.17 billion euros ($1.74 billion), with sales in Germany tumbling 5.8 percent as it removed Nivea make-up from shelves. The group, which also makes La Prairie luxury skincare products and Tesa industrial adhesives, reported group sales of 1.41 billion euros and earnings before interest, tax and special items of 167 million euros.

Analysts had been expecting the group to report sales of 1.41 billion euros and core EBIT of 158 million, according to a Reuters poll.

The Hamburg-based group reiterated it expected sales to be flat in 2011 and its profit margin to fall at the Consumer division.

Beiersdorf shares currently trade on a hefty 24 times forecast earnings, compared with a multiple of 14 for local rival Henkel, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Henkel, the maker of Persil detergents and Schwarzkopf hair products, on Wednesday slightly improved on its sales guidance for the year after gaining market share in the first quarter.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan)

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