Jan 15, 2015
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Nivea maker Beiersdorf beats sales expectations

Jan 15, 2015

FRANKFURT, Germany - Germany's Beiersdorf reported a slightly higher than expected rise in 2014 sales on Thursday and confirmed its full-year profit target.

The maker of Nivea skin cream posted 2.3 percent higher full year sales of 6.285 billion euros ($7.4 billion) against average analyst expectations of 6.254 billion euros.

Beiersdorf shares gained 2.3 percent in early trade at brokerage Lang & Schwarz, making them the top gainer of the German blue-chip index Dax, which was indicated 1.1 percent higher.

The company's shares lost about 8 percent last year, underperforming the sector index, which gained nearly 10 percent.

The sales growth was boosted by a pick-up in western European consumers' demand, especially in Beiersdorf's home market of Germany and growing demand in the Africa/Asia/Australia region, which accounted for nearly 28 percent of sales.

Western Europe contributes about 43 percent of group sales.

Growth was curbed by currency effects, especially by the weakness of some South American currencies and the Russian rouble against the euro.

Adjusted for currency effects, sales increased 4.7 percent.

Beiersdorf, which also makes La Prairie luxury skin care creams and Labello lip balm, said it still expects its full-year EBIT margin - operating profit as a percentage of sales - above 13 percent after 13.2 percent in 2013.

"The stability and strength that Beiersdorf has achieved makes us confident about our outlook for 2015," said Chief Executive Stefan Heidenreich.

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