The Wella Group, Germany, coconfirmed preliminary figures released in January with a 2.4% downturn in earnings before interest and taxes and a 2.3% decline in sales for 2003.
However, Wella executives noted that on a currency-adjusted basis, EBIT rose 1.5% on sales that gained 4.3%. EBIT reached $381.7 million, for an EBIT margin of 9.4% compared to 9.5% in 2002, according to the company. Dollar figures were calculated from the euro at current exchange rates. Sales reached $4 billion. Professional sales decreased 3.4% to $1.8 billion, while consumer sales were down 9.2% to $1.1 billion. Cosmetics and fragrance sales increased 9% to $1 billion. According to a statement, “2004 will be a year of great changes” that will help Wella buck the downward trend.