The consumer chemicals group Henkel is looking back at its best earnings year in the company's nearly 140-year history. Record 2012 sales and profits, the firm has announced, will pave the way for further expansion.
The German company's net profit rose 30 percent to 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in 2012 on the back of a 6 percent sales boost, to 16.5 billion euros, the maker of consumer chemicals such as Persil washing powder, Uhu glue and Schwarzkopf haircare products announced on Wednesday.
Noting that 2012 was the most successful year for the German company, Henkel Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted said the result was achieved in a highly volatile and competitive market environment.
"All three Henkel business sectors - laundry, home and beauty care - as well as adhesives showed profitable growth with expansion of market shares," he said.
CEO Rorsted announced that Henkel would continue its course of reducing costs while increasing profitability, adding that shareholders would receive a higher 2012 dividend of 0.93 euros a share. In addition, each of Henkel's 46,000 employees worldwide would get a special bonus, which for German employees would come in at about 1,000 euros.
In its outlook for the current year, Henkel plans to increase sales by between 3 and 5 percent, and is looking to expand its company portfolio. As Henkel is almost free from debt, Chief Financial Officer Carsten Knobel told analysts on Wednesday that new acquisitions would be an integral part of company strategy in 2013.
uhe/mkg (Reuters, AFP, dpa)