Beiersdorf sales nudge ahead

Srong sales in UK, Latin America and Russia offset weaker results in Europe and Asia

Beiersdorf's group sales for 2011 went up 2.1% over 2010 figurea to around €5.6bn. The nominal increase in sales was some 1.1%. Pre-tax earnings fell from €699m to €646m with a return on sales of 11.5% against 12.5% the year earlier. Sales of the major consumer products division, including the Nivea ranges and other cosmetic product brands, rose 1.1% to €4.6bn.

The company has said market trends were decidedly variable with business reported to be positive in the UK and Russia but sales in other European countries failed to reach the levels achieved in 2010, partly due to the extensive streamlining of product ranges.

Strong growth was reported in Latin America but in the Africa-Asia-Australian region, sales were only slightly up on the previous year. This was due to the effect of restructuring the Chinese operation. Consumer-sector profits before tax dipped from €599m to €537m.