BERLIN — Second-quarter sales for Beiersdorf AG’s consumer division rose 7.8 percent, while earnings before interest and taxes, excluding special factors relating to the realignment of the consumer supply chain, rose 3 percent.

This story first appeared in the August 7, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Excluding special factors, EBIT at the consumer division, which includes Nivea, La Prairie, Juvena, Labello, Florena, Eucerin and other brands, as well as Curad and Curitas plasters, hit 172 million euros, or $268 million, for the quarter.
The division generated sales of 1.35 billion euros, or $2.1 billion at average exchange, for the quarter.

Global Nivea sales rose by 10.4 percent in the first six months, driven by Nivea deodorant, Nivea Hair care and Nivea for Men. Eucerin and La Prairie also achieved double-digit growth in the first half of the year.

The Hamburg-based group said “business in Germany is back on a growth path in a difficult market.” First-half sales in Germany were up a nominal 0.6 percent and up 4.5 percent in the rest of Western Europe. Eastern Europe boosted sales 19 percent.

The integration of the C-BONS hair care business in China is proceeding on plan, and the company said it is making “substantial” marketing investments to support the brand.

In the U.S., Beiersdorf has shifted its focus to selected Nivea and Eucerin ranges. In the first half of 2008, currency adjusted sales for the consumer division were up 1.2 percent — strong performances by Nivea body, Nivea for Men, Eucerin and La Prairie helped to offset the phaseout of Nivea Visage.

For the full year, Beiersdorf continues to expect organic growth of more than 8 percent for the consumer division. The group is forecasting especially strong growth in China, Russia, Brazil and India. The EBIT margin is expected to increase further, but EBIT growth will be dampened by additional marketing expenses for C-BONS in China.