Sales: $15.6 billion
Key Personnel: Hans Van Bylen, chief executive officer; Carsten Knobel, executive vice president, finance, purchasing and integrated business solutions; Kathrin Menges, executive vice president, human resources and infrastructure services; Pascal Houdayer, executive vice president, beauty care; Bruno Piacenza, executive vice president, laundry and home care.
Major Products: Household—Mir, Persil, Perwoll, Purex, Sil, Spee and Vernel laundry detergents, Pril and Pur dish detergents, Bref and Soft Scrub hard surface cleaners, Somat automatic dish detergent. Personal Care—Schwarzkopf & Henkel, Schwarzkopf, Indola, Clynol, Seah Hairspa, BC Bonacure, Clynol hair care products; Dial, Fa and Right Guard, Tone, La Toja, Neutro mend, Coast, Dry Idea and Mont St. Michel body care products; Aok and Diadermine skin care products; Licor del Polo, Antica Erboristeria, Vademecum, Theramed and Denivit oral care products.
New Products: Beauty—Schwarzkopf Keratin Color, Fa Magic Oil, Dial Miracle Oil, Fa Fresh & Dri, Taft Ultimate, Syoss Color Refresher, Palette Perfect Care Color, Schwarzkopf Men Syoss Renew 7, Gliss Kur Oil Nutritive, BC Bonacure Color Freeze and BC Bonacure Miracle Oil and Xtreme (acquisition). Household—Persil Power-Mix Caps, Perwoll Care & Repair, reformulated Bref household cleaners, Colour Catcher All at 30° laundry sheets, Pur Gold Care hand dishwash, Somat Gold Gel automatic dish detergent; and All, Sun, Snuggle and Wisk (acquisition).
Comments: Normally, the US rollout of a brand as big as Persil would command headlines, but Henkel outdid itself earlier this year with the proposed $3.5 billion acquisition of Sun Products. If approved, Euromonitor International’s Ian Bell says the purchase would make Henkel the No. 2 player in the North American laundry category and the No. 4 player in North American home care. Sun had sales of about $1.6 billion in the US and Canada.
The acquisition comes less than a year after Henkel made the bold move to take Procter & Gamble head on in the US detergent aisle with the introduction of Persil ProClean in US markets. As Bell noted in Happi, even with the addition of Sun, Henkel remains in the shadow of P&G whose value sales in home care topped $10 billion last year. Still, the US market could use a shakeup, as discounting by all the major players is putting pressure on sales.
Every multinational is feeling the pressure these days to find growth in an increasingly connected global market—even Henkel, which posted extraordinarily good 2015 results. Corporate sales increased 5.7% without Forex effects and more than 10% overall.
Laundry and home care sales increased 11% (28% of corporate sales). Organic sales increased 4.9%. The gains were due, in part to the roll out of Persil ProClean. Elsewhere, new Persil Power-Mix Caps are pre-portioned formulas for Europe. For price-conscious consumers in 25 emerging markets throughout Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa and Middle East, Henkel rethought the positioning of several of its heavy-duty detergent brands in the value segment. These brands include Pemos in Russia, Tomi in Hungary and 1-2-3 in Mexico.
Within the liquid detergent segment, the company rolled out the PowerShot dispensing system in Western Europe under the Le Chat, Mir and X-tra brands. In Africa/Middle East, the company launched Persil Black Abaya, a UV-absorbing liquid formula to keep black garments from fading.
Beauty care sales increased 8.1% (21% of corporate sales), with a 2.1% organic increase. Henkel’s top 10 brands grew more quickly than the rest of the company’s portfolio and once again accounted for more than 90% of sales. The gains came despite market weakness in Western Europe and North America. Meanwhile, Africa, Middle East and Asia (excluding Japan) continued to grow, but at a slower pace, according to Henkel. Elsewhere, Eastern European sales grew despite constant pressures and Latin American results improved during 2015.
The introduction of caring hair colorants such as Keratin Color, a triple-keratin formula, and the ammonia-free Palette Perfect Care Color for beginners helped boost hair color sales. For guys, Henkel launched Schwarzkopf Men in Germany, Russia and China.
By region, sales in Western Europe rose 5.6% due to gains in France and the UK, which were partially offset by declines in Switzerland and the northern European countries. Sales in Eastern Europe declined 15%, due to devaluation of the Russian ruble; but organic sales rose 7.3% due to gains in Russia and Turkey.
Latin American sales rose 7.9%, with organic growth of 8.8%. Double-digit gains in Mexico led the way.
Sales in Asia increased 17.1%; organic sales rose 2.5%.
Organic sales in Africa/Middle East rose 6.8%, as all units posted gains. Nominal growth was 17.3%. North America’s organic sales rose 2.3% (up 26.5% when Forex effects and acquisitions are included).
Between the launch of Persil in the US and the acquisition of Sun Products, one might nearly forget that Henkel got a new CEO this year. In January, Kasper Rorsted surprised many when he announced plans to step down and move over to Adidas. Hans Van Bylen, a 54 year-old Belgian who had been in charge of Henkel’s beauty business, has replaced him. Van Bylen joined Henkel in 1984 and is just the second non-German to lead the company (Rorsted, a native of Denmark, was the first).
For the first quarter of 2016, sales rose less than 1%. The company’s laundry and home care business unit recorded organic sales growth of 4.7%, while beauty care’s organic sales increased 2.6%.