Beiersdorf AG, the maker of LaBello lip balm and Nivea skin cream, reported first-quarter sales growth that topped analysts’ estimates, boosted by demand at its adhesives business.
Revenue excluding the impact of currency swings, acquisitions and divestments advanced 6.7 percent, ahead of the 6.5 percent anticipated by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales at the adhesives business rose 8.7 percent, Hamburg-based Beiersdorf said.
The company confirmed its outlook for 2014 growth. Chief Executive Officer Stefan Heidenreich has been expanding in China and other emerging markets and capitalizing on rebounding personal-care sales in western Europe while restocking Beiersdorf’s product pipeline. The company has been expanding its Nivea line for men and redesigning its packaging to stand out on shelves.
“We expect Beiersdorf to deliver some of the fastest growth in European staples in 2014 and over the next three years,” said Toby McCullagh, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. who recommends buying the stock, in a May 6 note to clients. “We see plenty of scope to drive significant margin expansion.”
The company, which also makes Hansaplast bandages and La Prairie beauty products, in March reported estimate-beating full-year profit and forecast further gains in profitability this year as it pushes into emerging markets to counteract slower growth in Europe.
Shares of the company have increased 4.7 percent in the past year, trailing a 16 percent increase in the DAX Index.
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