Sales: $11.7 billion
Note: $11.7 billion for beauty and home care products. Corporate sales: $22.5 billion
Carsten Knobel, chief executive officer; Marco Swoboda, chief financial officer; Sylvie Nicol, executive vice president, human resources and infrastructure services; Jens-Martin Schwärzler, executive vice president, beauty care; Bruno Piacenza, executive vice president, laundry and home care
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, 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
Pril and Fa hand sanitizers, Persil ProClean with Oxi Power, Persil 4in1 Discs
Comments: Corporate sales rose 1.1% last year. Beauty care accounted for 19% of sales, while laundry and home care represented 33%.
Beauty care sales fell 1.8% last year to $4.3 billion, which the company blamed, in part, on a weak retail environment in Western Europe and Asia. The hair salon business, however, was a bright spot. Taking a closer look at beauty, within the branded consumer goods business, North America posted gains. Growth in Western Europe was positive despite persistent promotional activity and severe price and trade pressures. Market growth was very strong in Eastern Europe and and strong in Latin America. Sales in Asia-Pacific grew at a double-digit rate. The professional hair salon business got a boost from gains in North America and Asia-Pacific, but Western Europe results were hampered by intense competition, according to Henkel.
Laundry and home care sales rose 3.7% last year, due to several innovations launched under the Persil flagship brand. Specifically, the launch of Persil 4-in-1 Discs was well-received. Strong gains in home care were propelled by demand for hand dishwashing products and WC toilet cleaners. At the same time, demand was very strong in emerging markets, with Africa/Middle East achieving double-digit gains. Growth was also strong in Eastern Europe and Latin America, but slightly negative in Asia (excluding Japan). Elsewhere, Henkel characterized its laundry and home care business as good in the mature markets of North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Two key personnel moves took place on January 1. Carsten Knobel was appointed chairman of the management board, replacing Hans Van Bylen who served Henkel for 35 years. Also, Marco Swoboda succeeded Knobel as chief financial officer.
For Q1 2020, sales fell less than 1%. While the beauty business suffered from global salon closures, demand within the laundry and home care sectors soared.
“The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its breadth across the globe put us in a highly challenging, even more demanding situation,” explained Knobel. “Despite these extraordinary circumstances, our diversified portfolio of the three business units overall delivered a robust top line performance and recorded only slightly negative organic sales growth of minus 0.9%.”
Core home care brands Somat, Bref and Pril all posted double-digit gains on the back of new product development and media spend. During the quarter, Henkel launched Persil ProClean with Oxi Power in the US as well as Persil 4in1 Discs with malodor technology in North America and Europe.
“With Persil Green Power, we have started entering the green laundry detergent segment, combining sustainability with a very high product performance,” said Knobel.
In home care, Henkel continued the rollout of Pril Power & Perls as well as Bref De Luxe.
In personal care, Dial, Henkel’s largest US brand, benefitted from increased focus on personal hygiene—you sell more soap when consumers wash their hands for 20 seconds at a clip! On the downside, of course, salon closures around the world brought professional hair care sales to a halt. To help its customers, Henkel created a Help Your Salon initiative.
Looking ahead, Henkel brass is confident that the company will emerge from the crisis, in large part, by delivering on consumer hygiene needs with highly relevant SKUs, a ramp up in manufacturing and purposeful brand communication. For example, Henkel increased global soap production by 30%. In Mexico, Henkel launched Persil Hygiene, and expanded its disinfecting product range under the Lysoform brand in more countries. In the recently concluded second quarter, Henkel launched an antibacterial hand dishwashing product in Egypt and in Turkey, and in both laundry and home care and beauty care, Henkel rolled out Pril and Fa hand sanitizers.