Henkel AG, the German maker of Loctite glues and Persil detergent, said the economic situation in the euro zone may worsen this year.
“We do not expect the euro zone to undergo any tangible improvement in the current year,” Chief Executive Officer Kasper Rorsted told shareholders at the annual general meeting in Dusseldorf today. “Things are likely to get worse before they get better.” Emerging markets will return to “robust” growth during the year and there will be an “upturn” in North America, he predicted.
Emerging markets such as eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia accounted for 43 percent of sales last year, up from 42 percent in 2011. That helped reduce Henkel’s reliance on western Europe, where government austerity measures to counter the debt crisis deepened a recession.
Henkel reiterated its forecast for sales growth of 3 percent to 5 percent this year. The Dusseldorf-based company sees adjusted return on sales rising to about 14.5 percent and adjusted earnings per preferred share increasing by about 10 percent.
Henkel shares fell 0.8 percent to 72.50 euros at 10:33 a.m. in Frankfurt trading.
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