PARIS — Beiersdorf AG’s first-half sales in 2021 outpaced financial analysts’ expectations and helped propel the group past pre-pandemic levels in the period.
The German maker of Nivea, La Prairie and Eucerin products reported Thursday that sales in the six months ended June 30 grew 12.3 percent in reported terms and 16.2 percent on a like-for-like basis to 3.87 billion euros, spurred by the consumer segment’s business.
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Analysts expected the company’s organic growth to be 14 percent.
Positive effects on the earnings before interest and taxes margin, which was at 15.3 percent, stemmed from increased sales in all regions.
“We successfully managed to improve both sales and profitability compared to last year’s first half — despite still volatile market conditions,” said Vincent Warnery, chief executive officer of Beiersdorf, in a statement. “We will further accelerate the C.A.R.E.+ strategy: By tapping new business areas, by further driving profitability and by fostering the digital transformation of Beiersdorf and our industry.”
C.A.R.E.+ is Beiersdorf’s plan to win in skin care and boost consumer-centricity through digitalization. The strategy is particularly focused on China, where the group significantly expanded its online presences for the core La Prairie, Eucerin and Nivea brands in the half.
One-quarter of the sales increase for the group’s mass-market business and one-third of the sales for its derma activity were transacted online in the period.
Sun care brand Coppertone, which Beiersdorf acquired in 2019, gained share for the first time in the U.S., its largest market, since 2012. It registered double-digit growth in the second quarter, partially bolstered by the sports category.
In the half, Beiersdorf’s consumer division’s sales reached 3.1 billion euros, up 9.4 percent in nominal terms and 13.6 percent on an organic basis. The Tesa division posted sales of 773 million euros, a gain of 25.7 percent in reported terms and 28.2 percent on a like-for-like basis.
For full-year 2021, Beiersdorf expects sales growth for its consumer and Tesa business segments, as well as for the group overall, to be in the high-single-digit range. The company’s EBIT margin is forecast to remain on par with 2020’s levels.
That guidance fell below financial analysts’ consensus.
“The recovery must be slowing down in H2,” wrote Bruno Monteyne, senior analyst for European Food, European household and personal care at AllianceBernstein, in a note.
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