Beiersdorf Chief Sees Sales Growth Near Middle of Forecast Range

Beiersdorf AG expects sales growth for the year to be near the middle of its forecast range, Chief Executive Officer Stefan Heidenreich said after the Nivea skin-cream maker reported estimate-beating third-quarter earnings.

“We won’t be at 6 percent, but we also won’t be at 4 percent,” Heidenreich said on a call with reporters today. “We’ll be somewhere in the middle. I’m positive and optimistic and very proud that our model works during turbulent times.”

Beiersdorf shares had their steepest gain in two years as the company defied weakness in the European consumer-goods industry by reiterating that sales will advance 4 percent to 6 percent in 2014. Larger rival L’Oreal SA said this week that the year will be the weakest since 2009, joining Dove-maker Unilever in saying that demand was slowing from Europe to Asia.

At Beiersdorf, Heidenreich is expanding the Nivea line for men and tailoring products for emerging markets. Beiersdorf is pitting its ability to extend its brands, which also include Eucerin skin cream, and La Prairie, against tepid demand in Europe and slower growth in emerging markets.

Beiersdorf shares rose as much as 6.8 percent to 68.50 euros in Frankfurt, the most since Nov. 2, 2012. The were up 6.7 percent at 68.49 euros as of 11:56 a.m.

Third-quarter earnings before interest and taxes, excluding special factors, gained 1.4 percent to 219 million euros ($274 million), the company said earlier, beating the 214.8 million-euro average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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