PARIS — Henkel AG posted a 13.6 percent gain in first-quarter sales, bolstered by its three business units and all geographic regions.
Revenues in the three months ended March 31 reached 5.06 billion euros, or $5.56 billion, marking the first time the German consumer goods company’s sales passed the 5 billion-euro mark in a quarterly period. On an organic basis, sales were up 4 percent.
“Henkel delivered a strong performance in the first quarter in a highly challenging market,” Henkel chief executive officer Hans Van Bylen said in a statement on Thursday. “The consumer goods markets were characterized by intensifying promotional and pricing pressure.
During the quarter, Henkel signed agreements to acquire the Mexican hair-care company Nattura Laboratorios and Darex Packaging Technologies.
Henkel’s operating profit, adjusted for one-time charges, gains and restructuring charges, advanced 13.8 percent to 854 million euros, or $938 million.
Sales in the Düsseldorf, Germany-based company’s beauty care division reached 1.01 billion euros, or $1.11 billion, up 6.4 percent in reported terms and 2.3 percent on an organic basis. Adjusted operating profit for the unit reached 169 million euros, or $185.6 million, a 7.4 percent gain.
Revenues for the adhesive technologies business rose 7.1 percent to 2.3 billion euros, or $2.52 billion, while the laundry and home care activity posted a 29.5 percent gain in sales to 1.7 billion euros, or $1.9 billion.
Dollar figures are converted at average exchange for the period to which they refer.
Looking ahead, Van Bylen said: “We expect the overall volatile and uncertain market environment to persist throughout the year. Currency fluctuations are likely to continue and the prices for commodities are expected to increase.
“We also anticipate promotional and pricing pressure in the consumer goods markets to further increase,” he added. “Nevertheless, we are committed to continue our successful development.”
Henkel maintained its guidance for the current fiscal year, saying it expects organic sales growth of between 2 percent and 4 percent. The company’s adjusted EBIT margin should increase to more than 17 percent, and adjusted earnings per preferred share are projected to grow between 7 percent and 9 percent.