Sales: $6.3 billion
Key Personnel: Stefan F. Heidenreich, chief executive officer; Dr. Ulrich Schmidt, executive board member; Jesper Andersen, executive board member; Ralph Gusko, executive board member; Thomas Ingelfinger, executive board member; Stefan De Loecker, executive board member; Zhengrong Liu, executive board member; May Shana’a, head of research and development.
Major Products: Skin care brands include Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie.
New Products: Nivea Deo Black & White, Nivea Q10 Pearls, Nivea Face Cellular Anti-Age, Nivea In-Shower body lotion, Eucerin Diabetics Dry Skin Relief, Eucerin UltraSensitive, La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster, La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection.
Comments: The folks at Beiersdorf are feeling blue these days…no, they’re not down in the dumps, it’s all about the Blue Agenda which aims to be the No. 1 skin care company in its relevant categories and markets. How will it get there? By strengthening its brands, especially Nivea; increasing innovation; expanding its presence in emerging markets and consolidating its European position; and maintaining a strong corporate culture. While Nivea will always be the primary focus, the company has created a “Pearl Brands” unit that is intended to boost sales for the Labello, 8x4, Hidrofugal and Florena brands.
To boost its presence in emerging markets, last year, Beiersdorf opened a production facility and regional laboratory in Silao, Mexico. It’s the first cosmetics plant to be awarded LEED Platinum certification. Now, Beiersdorf is building a production plant in Sanand, India to expand its presence in that fast-growing market.
By region, European sales rose less than 1% and accounted for 54.4% of sales last year. Sales in Africa, Asia and Australia (27.8% of sales) increased 5.4%. In the Americas, sales increased 2.2% (17.8% of sales).
By brand, Nivea achieved organic growth of 6.2%. Leading the way were Nivea Deo, Nivea Shower and Nivea Body. All were helped by gains in emerging markets. At the same time, the introduction of products such as Nivea Deo Stress Protect, Nivea Deo Powder Touch, and Nivea Shower Crème Care and Original Care were well-received. While sales of Nivea Deo were up in Brazil and Australia, and Nivea Men sales rose in Brazil, Russia and Spain, Beiersdorf noted that Nivea Sun sales declined, due to weakness in Switzerland, Germany and Italy. At the country level, sales of Nivea improved most in Japan, Australia, Spain and Brazil, but were weakest in Poland.
Organic sales of Eucerin were up 6%, driven by the popularity of Eucerin Body Care and Eucerin Aquaphor, along with sales gains in the US, Thailand and France.
Organic sales of La Prairie rose 5.1% driven by gains in the US, China, Russia and Japan, as well as the debut of the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection.
On the sustainability front, by 2020, Beiersdorf aims to:
- Generate 50% of its sales from products with a significantly reduced environmental impact (base year 2011);
- Reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% per product sold (base year 2005); and
- Reach and improve the lives of one million families (base year 2013).
While company executives predicted that consumer product sales would grow 3-5% in 2015, the unit got off to a slow start, increasing just 0.7%—as sales in Europe rose 0.2%, sales in the Americas jumped 6.9% and sales declined 2.0% in Africa, Asia and Australia. By product category, sales of Nivea rose 1.7%, La Prairie’s sales increased 1.1%, but sales of Eucerin jumped 5.3%.