Beiersdorf gained market share and increased investment in 2020, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organisation’s business performance was ‘significantly affected’ by the pandemic. Global lockdowns in key markets and travel restrictions had a considerable impact, particularly in the second quarter.
At €7.025 billion, Beiersdorf’s sales for the reporting period were down by 5.7% on the previous year in organic terms. This compared well with the significant decline in the market as a whole, according to the firm.
Despite the drop in sales, Beiersdorf forged ahead with its investment programme to implement the C.A.R.E.+ strategy. It gained market share in all skincare categories. High investment levels and increased expenditure in these areas reduced the operating result (EBIT), excluding special factors to €906 million, compared to €1.095 billion in 2019.
“2020 was challenging, but it was also a landmark year for Beiersdorf,” said Stefan De Loecker, the company’s CEO. “Our clear priorities in the crisis were to ensure the safety of our employees, continue meeting the needs of our consumers, and do our utmost to help society battle COVID-19.
“At the same time, we accelerated the implementation of our strategic priorities as part of C.A.R.E.+. We continued to invest in sustainability, digitalisation, and growth markets. This approach has paid off in terms of added brand appeal right across our group. We want to continue building on this by investing an additional €300 million over the next five years.”
The huge impact of the pandemic on Beiersdorf’s sales markets caused total sales in the consumer business segment to fall by €5.7 billion in 2020; this was 6.6% lower than in 2019, in organic terms. The decline was cushioned by the strong performance in the Derma business with the group's EUCERIN and AQUAPHOR brands, which include aerosol products. Here, the group recorded year-on-year organic sales growth of 8.3%, with double-digit growth rates in North America, Latin America, and Asia.