By  on February 25, 2009

BERLIN — German cosmetics and household products giant Henkel reported a 248.6 percent fourth-quarter 2008 net earnings leap to 861 million euros, or $1.14 billion at average exchange, from 247 million euros, or $357.6 million, in the same period a year ago.

That performance was largely due to the sale of its 29 percent stake in cleaning company EcoLab for approximately $2 billion, the acquisition of the National Starch business in April 2008 and integrating a global efficiency plan to help control costs. Henkel’s profits came on sales of 3.54 billion euros, or $4.67 billion, an 11.1 percent rise.

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