By  on May 5, 2011

BERLIN — Cosmetics and adhesives maker Beiersdorf AG reported first-quarter net earnings rose 2.5 percent to 125 million euros, or $170.8 million.

The Beiersdorf consumer division, which includes the Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie brands, saw first-quarter sales slump 1.6 percent to 1.17 billion euros, or $1.6 billion. Operating results for the division fell 14.4 percent to 138 million euros, or $188.6 million.

Revenue dips of 5.8 percent in Germany and 5.2 percent in Western Europe were due to streamlining of the product range and Nivea’s exit from the makeup business, according to the company. Global Nivea sales also fell by 1.1 percent, while luxury skin care brand La Prairie had an uptick of 8.8 percent for the quarter.

Group operating profit, excluding special factors, dropped 10.2 percent to 167 million euros, while the earnings before interest and taxes margin fell to 11.8 percent from 13.5 percent versus the previous year’s period. Sales for Tesa SE, the Hamburg-based firm’s adhesive unit, rose 10.1 percent to 234 million euros, or $319.8 million.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange for the three-month period ending March 31.

“The realignment of our business is on track. Our performance in the first quarter is in line with our planning,” stated Thomas-B. Quaas, chairman of Beiersdorf’s executive board.

The company reiterated its previous forecast of flat sales for 2011, the 100th anniversary year of Nivea. After rising earlier in the day in response to its first-quarter report, Beiersdorf stock closed Thursday down 0.07 percent to 43.90 euros, or $65.16 at current exchange.

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