WELLA SALES, PROFITS UP IN 2ND HALF

Byline: Melissa Drier

DARMSTADT, Germany — In Wella’s first disclosure of preliminary consolidated results since 1983, the German hair care giant announced that both sales and profits rose strongly in the second half of 1999.
This is in sharp contrast to the company’s announcement six months ago that sales for the first half of the year had not met expectations.
Wella said preliminary unaudited, consolidated results show that 1999 sales rose by 7.7 percent and net income surged by about 30 percent. The company had projected a sales increase of 4 percent to 5 percent and a double-digit increase in earnings.
Wella did not provide sales and earnings totals. However, based on Wella’s 1998 results, the percentage increases would amount to 1999 sales of about $2.3 billion and net profits of $83 million. All dollar figures are calculated using current exchange rates.
Wella said all business divisions reported high increases in sales and income, and said the fourth quarter in particular exceeded the company’s “ambitious internal budgets.”
Sales and income results were barely influenced by currency effects, according to Wella’s official release. Wella attributed the improved profitability to “improved corporate processes and reduced cost structures.”
Based on the stronger performance in 1999, the Management Board will propose a significant increase in dividends to the supervisory board.
A complete report of 1999 results and the outlook for 2000 will be presented at Wella’s annual press conference on April 12 in Darmstadt.

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