Top Companies Report

7. Beiersdorf

August 1, 2014

Sales: $6.9 billion

Key Personnel: Stefan F. Heidenreich, chief executive officer, executive board member (Germany, Switzerland, North America, Far East, La Prairie); Dr. Ulrich Schmidt, executive board member, finance, supply chain and Latin America; Ralph Gusko, executive board member, marketing, research & development, pharmacy; Thomas Ingelfinger, executive board member, Europe (excluding Germany and Switzerland); Stefan De Loecker, executive board member, Near East (Russia, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and India); Zhengrong Liu, executive board member, human resources/labor director.

Major Products: Skin care brands include Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie.

New Products: Nivea Stress Protect deodorant, Nivea In-Shower, Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh, Nivea Face Cellular Anti-Age, Nivea Men Active Age; Eucerin Volume Filler, Eucerin AtopiControl; La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask and Skin Caviar Luxe Soufflé Body Cream.

Comments: Beiersdorf executives hope their Blue Agenda, first outlined in 2012, will lead to blue skies in the future. The strategy defines the company’s objectives and is focused on five goals: strengthening brands (especially Nivea), increasing innovative power, systematically expanding impact and presence in emerging markets and Europe, increasing efficiency and speed and employing dedicated workers.

So, how’s it going? Corporate sales rose 1.7% last year to $8.4 billion. Consumer sales, which include Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie, rose just over 1%, but organic sales were up 7%. In January, Beiersdorf unveiled its new corporate logo, which aligns the company with Nivea, the world’s best-selling skin care brand. The global rollout of the new logo will be completed by the end of the year.

Worldwide Nivea sales increased 7.5% on an organic basis, helped along by the introduction of Nivea Stress Protect deodorant, Nivea In-Shower, Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh spray and Nivea Cellular Anti-Age. Good gains in emerging markets were due to the strong demand for Nivea deodorants.

Eucerin posted organic sales gains of 11.5%, on strong growth in the US, Latin America and Scandinavia. The launch of Eucerin Volume Filler and the continued growth of Eucerin Even Skin provided a lift.

La Prarie’s organic sales also rose 7.5% due, in part, to the expansion of the White Caviar Collection and the introductions of Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask and Skin Caviar Luxe Soufflé Body Cream. The company added that growth in China and Russia was particularly strong.

For the first quarter of 2014, corporate sales rose just over 1% to nearly $2.2 billion. Consumer sales rose less than 1% to $1.8 billion.

On July 1, Beiersdorf added three new members to its executive board: Thomas Ingelfinger, Stefan De Loecker, and Zhengrong Liu.

“The appointment of three top managers to the executive board sends an important signal both internally and externally,” said Stefan F. Heidenreich. “We are confident to further advance our successful Blue Agenda strategy with this team. In the coming years, regionalization will be the key priority.”

Thomas Ingelfinger will be responsible for Europe (excluding Germany), Stefan De Loecker for Near East (including Russia, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and India), and Zhengrong Liu for Human Resources, including the position of Labor Director.