Sales: $6.6 billion
Key Personnel: Stefan F. Heidenreich, chief executive officer; Peter Feld, executive board member, Europe/North America; Ralph Gusko, executive board member, consumer brands, pharmacy, research and development; Ulrich Schmidt, executive board member, finance, supply chain, human resources, Latin America.
Major Products: Skin care brands include Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie.
New Products: Nivea—Powerfruit and Pure Impact shower products, Pure & Sensitive and Stress Protect deodorants, In-Shower Body Milk; Eucerin—Even Brighter and DermoCapillaire; LaPrairie—Skin Caviar Liquid Lift and Cellular Power Charge Night.
Comments: Beiersdorf executives are seeing blue—thanks to the Blue Agenda that was introduced last year. It called for strengthening brands (especially Nivea), increasing innovation and expanding in emerging markets. That’s because the company estimates that skin care will drive the global cosmetics market during the next few years, accounting for 45% of growth.
To boost innovation, during the past year, R&D efforts were realigned to more closely match consumer expectations in the areas of body, face, sun, men, deo and shower. The goal is to develop innovative products that quickly meet consumers’ needs. To help meet the needs of folks in emerging markets, Beiersdorf began construction of a new production center in Silao, Mexico that will speed products to market and bundle resources in a single location. The site, which will cost more than €100 million, is expected to open next year. Finally, to increase efficiency and speed, Beiersdorf encourages and requires employees to think and act like entrepreneurs and to take a decisive approach.
The Blue Agenda worked, as corporate sales rose more than 7% last year to nearly $8 billion and consumer product sales were up nearly 5%. Sales of Nivea rose 6.4% on higher demand for Nivea Deo, Body and Shower products. Products that provided a lift included Invisible for Black & White, and the launches of Pure & Sensitive, Repair & Care and In Shower. Eucerin sales rose 6.6% thanks to the launches of Even Brighter and DermoCapillaire and good gains in Chile, Thailand and Sweden. Sales of La Prairie rose 6.1% due to gains in China, France and the US.
By region, European sales rose 1.4%. Although sales in Germany were flat and sales in western Europe fell nearly 2%, sales in Eastern Europe jumped 8.7% with good gains in Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Serbia.
Sales in the Americas rose more than 12%, driven by a 17.7% increase in Latin America and a 2% rise in North America.
Sales in Africa, Asia and Australia increased nearly 10%, propelled by results in India, Thailand and South Africa. Sales were up in Japan and flat in China.
To kick off 2013, Beiersdorf unveiled a new Nivea logo that is said to make it easier for consumers around the world to find Nivea products on store shelves.
People are getting older and Beiersdorf is determined to do something about it, by conducting research on aging in the scientific network AgeNet. Backed by funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, two Beiersdorf researchers, Sabine Hageman, research scientist, and Marc Winnefeld, head of the special and aged skin lab, are investigating the influences of environmental factors that speed up aging such as UV light and air pollution.
For the first quarter of 2013, corporate sales rose 2.9% to $2.0 billion. Sales were weak in Europe, falling 4% in Germany, and 2% in Western and Eastern Europe. In contrast, sales rose more than 5% in North America, more than 16% in Asia and Africa, and more than 20% in Latin America. At the close of the first quarter, emerging markets accounted for 49% of corporate sales.