BERLIN — Beiersdorf AG confirmed preliminary reports of a strong 2008 in its annual report, which was released Tuesday, and predicted the company will again outperform the market in 2009.

This story first appeared in the March 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Its consumer, or beauty, segment, which includes the Nivea, Florena, Labello, Eucerin and La Prairie brands, had a solid year with a 10 percent boost in sales to 5.13 billion euros, or $7.54 billion at average exchange. Earnings before interest and taxes, excluding special factors, of 615 million euros, or $904 million, had a 3 percent gain. Three of Beiersdorf’s major beauty brands boasted double-digit revenues increases — Nivea, 10 percent; La Prairie, 12.3 percent, and Eucerin, 12.6 percent.

Among regions posting strong sales growth for Beiersdorf beauty products were Eastern Europe, which registered an 18.5 percent gain; Africa, Asia and Australia, with 28.6 percent, and China, with 40.7 percent, all at rates adjusted for currency-exchange effects.

“In the cosmetics business, Beiersdorf again outperformed the market significantly last year,” stated Thomas-B. Quaas, the company’s chairman of the executive board, citing the selling of equity interests, restructuring of the consumer supply chain and global Nivea growth as contributing factors.

Group profit after tax for 2008 jumped 28.3 percent to 567 million euros, or $833.5 million. The company’s sales rose 7.5 percent to 5.97 billion euros, or $8.78 billion. Looking ahead, Quaas is optimistic but cautious, stating: “It is not possible to make reliable forecasts in the present economic environment. Nevertheless, Beiersdorf will again outperform the market this year, and we remain committed to our goal of achieving a global market share of 5.5 percent next year.”