BERLIN -- The Beiersdorf Group's cosmetics division posted 12 percent growth in sales in 1993 for a total worldwide volume of $1.47 billion (2.5 billion DM) at current exchange rates, thanks to the success of new Nivea products, particularly the Nivea Visage range.At a news conference here, Rolf Kunisch, who is director of the division and is set to take over as chairman of Beiersdorf in June, noted particularly strong growth in the U.S., where sales were up 28 percent, and in Asia, which was up 23 percent. Sales of Nivea by itself increased by 15 percent to $941 million (1.6 billion DM).Key launches for 1994 include Nivea Soft, a hand cream, and a product in the Nivea Visage range containing alpha-hydroxy acids. It will be Beiersdorf's first acid product for the mass market, and it is expected to hit the market just as competitor L'Oreal launches Excell A3 with acids.The company's La Prairie division already markets Age Management Serum with acids, a product that helped boost Beiersdorf's prestige sales 6 percent in 1993.Kunisch said he expects Beiersdorf's cosmetics business to double by the year 2000 to almost $3 billion.

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