Beiersdorf AG, maker of Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie products, reported full-year 2020 sales declined 8.2 percent, due to the coronavirus pandemic’s lockdowns and travel restrictions, but the company expects a sales recovery in 2021.
“There is still some uncertainty this year. However, I am confident that we will see clear improvements by the end of the year as vaccinations gather pace in many countries,” said Stefan De Loecker, chief executive officer of Beiersdorf, in a press release published on Tuesday evening.
The company reported sales of 7.03 billion euros in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2020, down 5.7 percent on an organic basis.
Still, Hamburg, Germany-based Beiersdorf said it gained market share in all of its core brands, skin care segments and regions in 2020.
The group’s operating profit sank 17.3 percent to 906 million euros, while its EBIT, or operating, margin excluding special factors was down 1.4 percentage points on-year to 12.9 percent.
Of 2020, De Loecker said it “was challenging, but it was also a landmark year for Beiersdorf. Our clear priorities in the crisis were to ensure the safety of our employees, continue meeting the needs of our consumers and do our utmost to help society battle COVID-19.
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“At the same time, we accelerated the implementation of our strategic priorities as part of C.A.R.E.+,” he continued, referring to Beiersdorf’s plan to win in skin care and drive consumer-centricity through digitalization. “We continued to invest in sustainability, digitalization and growth markets. This approach has paid off in terms of added brand appeal right across our group. We want to continue building on this by investing an additional 300 million euros over the next five years.”
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The pandemic caused Beiersdorf’s Consumer Business Segment’s sales to fall to 5.7 billion euros, or 6.6 percent lower in organic terms than in 2019. That decline, however, was softened by the Derma business’ strong performance with the Eucerin and Aquaphor brands. That activity posted 8.3 percent gains on a like-for-like basis, with double-digit growth in North America, Latin America and Asia.
Due to the global skin care market’s decrease, which was by double-digits during some months, Beiersdorf’s core Nivea brand’s sales sank 6 percent in organic terms.
“Despite this, Nivea maintained its strong overall position worldwide in all categories and gained additional market share in over half of countries,” Beiersdorf said.
Selective cosmetics brand la Prairie’s sales dropped 23.9 percent in like-for-like terms as travel was significantly reduced, hitting the travel-retail channel hard.
“Despite sales recovering for a time in the course of the year and double-digit growth in China, the brand was unable to match its strong prior-year figures,” Beiersdorf said. “With the recent launch of La Prairie at Tmall, Beiersdorf expects to further strengthen the brand’s presence in this key market.”
The group’s e-commerce business was up 50 percent on-year.
For 2021, the Beiersdorf Group and its Consumer Business Segment are expected to post positive sales gains and an operative EBIT margin at 2020’s level, the company said. At the same time, the Tesa Business Segment, which produces self-adhesives, should register positive sales growth and an operative EBIT margin that’s down.
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