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Beiersdorf Logs 25 Percent Profit Growth in 2008

Beauty and consumer giant said Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie had double-digit gains in 2008.

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BERLIN — Preliminary figures for Beiersdorf AG show a strong 2008 performance for the German cosmetics company, with after-tax profits jumping 25 percent to 553 million euros, or $814 million, at an average exchange rate for the period.

Sales, meanwhile, rose 8.6 percent to 5.97 billion euros, or $8.78 billion.

Beiersdorf’s record figures in 2007 set a tough challenge for the company last year. But goals were met with 8.6 percent sales growth (adjusted for currency translation effects and excluding acquisitions) in the Hamburg-based company’s core consumer sector, which had predicted an 8 percent rise for last year.

The consumer segment showed sales of 5.13 billion euros, or $7.54 billion, beating 2007’s 4.66 billion euros, or $6.39 billion, and earnings before interest and taxes of 614 million euros, or $903.5 million, excluding special factors.

Beiersdorf’s stable of brands includes Nivea, Labello, Florena, Juvena, La Prairie, Eucerin and others in skin care and beauty, and the Tesa adhesives unit. The latter reported flat sales of 845 million euros last year, or $1.24 billion, due to the knock-on effect of the economic slowdown, particularly in the car industry.

“All three core brands — Nivea, Eucerin, and La Prairie — recorded double-digit global growth,” stated chief executive officer Thomas-B. Quaas. “This means that Beiersdorf’s skin and beauty care business again clearly outperformed the market and has demonstrated an encouraging ability to withstand the current economic climate.”

The Nivea brand is also expanding visibility with its foray into spa services. The first Nivea Haus opened in Hamburg in 2006, the second in Dubai 2008. The third is slated to open in Berlin the first week of February.

Final figures for 2008 for the Beiersdorf Group and Beiersdorf AG will be prepared by the executive board in February and presented at the annual accounts press conference on March 3.

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