Henkel Eyes Further Profit Rise After Record 2012

06.03.2013 -

Germany's Henkel, a maker of washing powder and shampoos, said it expected earnings to rise to another record this year after reporting its highest-ever profit in 2012, driven by emerging markets and cost controls.

Henkel, whose brands include Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite, said a strong performance in emerging markets such as Turkey, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, China and India more than made up for flat sales in Europe.

Anglo-Dutch rival Unilever has also recently said it is benefitting from strong sales of its haircare products and soaps in emerging markets.

Henkel's share of sales from emerging markets rose to 43% from 42% the previous year, it said on Wednesday.

Adjusted earnings per preferred share, which the group is increasingly using as a measure of profit, would rise 10% in 2013, the group said, after growing 18% to €3.70 ($4.82) in 2012. It predicted sales growth of between 3 and 5% this year.

The group also reported fourth-quarter sales of €4 billion and adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 544 million, in line with expectations, giving full-year totals of €16.5 billion and 2.33 billion.

It said it would increase its dividend to €0.95 per preferred share, compared with a forecast 0.91.

Local rival Beiersdorf had on Tuesday reported slightly disappointing results and did not increase its dividend as expected.

Having spent years reducing its debt following its €3.7 billion buy of National Starch in 2008, Henkel is back on the acquisition trail. It bought several Polish home-care brands from rival PZ Cussons for 46.6 million pounds ($70 million) last month and said in November takeovers would be a key part of plans to increase sales to €20 billion by 2016.