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4 May

Henkel Finalizes Sale of Russia Business Unit – WWD

PARIS – Henkel AG has finalized the sale of its business activities in Russia to a consortium of local financial investors for 54 billion rubles, or $689.6 million, the group said Thursday.

The German maker of Schwarzkopf, Dial and Diadermine products had announced on April 20  its signing of an agreement to sell that activity, following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Also on Thursday, the Düsseldorf-based group reported first-quarter sales of 5.6 billion euros, up 6.4 percent on a reported basis and 6.6. percent in organic terms.

The organic growth beat financial analysts’ consensus of 4.3 percent.

“That’s a superb beat in itself, but is the bottom organic growth – even for consumer alone – and the smallest beat within the sector,” wrote Bruno Monteyne, senior analyst of European Food, Household and Personal Care at Bernstein, in a note.  

He underlined volumes remained weak and just under consensus, at minus 5.4 percent against minus 5.2 percent, “with all of the beat on pricing.”

“While volume has sequentially improved since Q4, Henkel stays toward the underside of the peer group,” noted Martin Deboo, an equity analyst at Jeffries, in a note.

Henkel has been underperforming against its cohorts corresponding to L’Oréal, Unilever and Procter & Gamble within the competitive and dynamic beauty space.

Henkel placed 15th in WWD Beauty Inc’s Top 100 Global Beauty Manufacturer rating for 2022, which estimated the group’s beauty sales hit 3.58 billion, up 2.6 percent versus 2021.

The corporate has been undergoing a restructuring. Last yr, it merged its Beauty Care and Laundry & Home Care business right into a single Consumer Brands business unit ahead of schedule.  That merger is anticipated to deliver 500 million in savings by the tip of this yr.

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