German Beauty Conglomerates Report Sales

BEIERSDORF BERLIN — Beiersdorf’s consumer division recorded a 1.8 percent decline in operating profits for the second quarter of 2004, but consumer sales for the period rose 2.2 percent.

Beiersdorf’s consumer division replaced the group’s former cosmed and medical divisions, and includes body and facial care brands under the Nivea, Labello, Florena, Juvena, La Prairie and Eucerin nameplates, as well as Curad and Curitas plasters.

The consumer division’s earnings before interest and taxes for the quarter hit 111 million euros, or $135.4 million, down from 113 million euros the previous year. For the first six months of 2004, however, the division’s EBIT rose a nominal 3 percent to 235 million euros, or $286.7 million.

The consumer division’s second-quarter sales reached 1.01 billion euros, or $1.23 billion, and for the first six months of 2004, hit 2 billion euros, or $2.44 billion, a 3.2 percent gain against last year. Adjusted for currency effects, first-half sales rose 4.9 percent.

Beiersdorf noted sales of the consumer business grew 2.1 percent in Germany in the first half, compared with a fall in the like period in 2003. European growth slowed, but all other regions outside of Europe generated double-digit gains in the first half.

The Hamburg-based group confirmed its 2004 targets, stating that, “despite the continued difficult economic environment, the consumer business segment is planning higher sales growth [adjusted for currency translation effects] in 2004 than in 2003.”

Total group sales, which also include sales of the Tesa adhesive tapes division, are expected to exceed last year’s growth rate of 4 percent despite sluggish consumer demand in Europe. Pre-tax earnings as a percentage of sales are expected to reach last year’s record level of 10.3 percent, with a return on sales in excess of 6 percent after taxes.

Douglas Perfumeries

Douglas Perfumeries said it generated sales in the third quarter ended June 30 of 719 million euros, or $877.2 million, in its 797 global perfumery doors.

This is the first year the Douglas Group is not reporting on a calendar year basis, and the group did not provide comparable sales figures for the quarter. The Douglas Group’s fiscal year now runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

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