Revlon Seeking $1M in Shipping Damage Suit

NEW YORK — Revlon Inc. is seeking to collect more than $1 million from two foreign shipping companies that allegedly lost and/or damaged a load of cosmetics bound for New York from Italy.

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court on Jan. 7, Revlon and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. accused BDP International Inc., Milan-based Sifte Berti SpA and the container ship MV Ali Ihsha’a of failing to deliver the cosmetics shipment in the “same good order and condition as received.”

BDP International would not comment on the matter. Sifte Berti could not be reached for comment.

“Negligence caused the subject shipment of cosmetics to become lost and/or damaged,” said Revlon in the complaint, resulting in damages of $1.1 million.

According to the complaint, a number of Italian shipping operations delivered goods to BDP, Sifte Berti and the MV Ali Ihsha’a on Jan. 7, 2004 that were to be transported to New York City.

In addition to the $1.1 million in damages, Revlon is seeking an unspecified amount in statutory damages. — Ross Tucker

Beiersdorf Income, Sales Up

BERLIN — The Beiersdorf Group achieved a 5.5 percent increase in 2004 operating income, and a 2.5 percent sales gain last year, according to preliminary figures released on Tuesday.

Earnings before interest and taxes reached 480 million euros, or $596.9 million at average exchange.

Profit after taxes neared 300 million euros, or $373.1 million, a decline of about 1 percent. Group sales reached 4.55 billion euros, or $5.65 billion. Adjusted for currency effects, group sales rose 4.1 percent.

The consumer division, which replaces the group’s former cosmed and medical divisions and includes body and facial care under brands such as Nivea, Labello, Florena, Juvena, La Prairie, Eucerin and others — as well as Curad and Curitas plasters — saw 2004 sales rise 2.7 percent to 3.84 billion euros, or $4.78 billion. Adjusted for currency effects, sales grew 4.3 percent. The company noted particularly strong performance in the business regions of the U.S., Africa, Asia and Australia.Fourth-quarter sales reached 922 million euros, or $1.2 billion. Comparable divisional sales for the quarter in 2003 were not released, and due to restructuring of the divisions, cannot be independently computed.

The division’s EBIT hit 430 million euros, or $534.7 million, for the year. Operative earnings for the fourth quarter came in at 94 million euros, or $116.9 million. Beiersdorf did not release comparable EBIT figures for the year or quarter at this time, and due to structural changes they cannot be independently computed.

Beiersdorf is projecting an increase in currency adjusted sales for 2005, with an improved return on sales (profit before tax) of 11 percent, and a net return on sales (profit after tax) of about 7 percent.

Final group figures for 2004 will be released at the annual financial press conference on March 30. — Melissa Drier

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