Henkel reports “robust” performance despite pandemic

Henkel has reported an overall “robust” business performance for the first half of the year, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group’s half-year sales reached €9,485 million, representing a reduction of 6% in nominal sales and 5.2% in organic sales. Henkel’s operating profit was €1,191 million, down 27.5%.

In Henkel’s beauty care business unit, sales in the first half of 2020 showed an organic development of -8.5%. Nominally, sales were down 7.4% below compared to 2019; this was partly due to the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hair salon sector.

The organisation’s laundry and home care business unit generated organic sales growth of 4.9% in the first six months of the year. Nominally, sales increased by 3.8%. At €531 million, adjusted operating profit was down 6% compared to the same period in 2019.

“In the first half of 2020, Henkel was substantially impacted by the significant global economic downturn and the sharp decline in demand across many industries,” said Henkel CEO Carsten Knobel.

“During this unprecedented global crisis, our focus is to protect employees, supply customers, ensure business continuity, and support communities. Thanks to the outstanding team spirit and commitment of our people around the world, we were able to achieve this in the first half of 2020.

“The breadth of our portfolio in the consumer and industrial businesses helped us to balance the impact of the crisis on our overall sales and earnings performance: in the first six months of 2020, we achieved sales of around €9.5 billion, an operating profit of €1.2 billion, and 12.6% EBIT margin.

“We paid out the full dividend for 2019 to shareholders, and we were not able to generate a very strong free cash flow and further improve our net financial position. During the crisis we did not introduce short-time working, apply for government aid, or reduce our workforce due to the pandemic. In summary, we delivered an overall robust performance in an exceptionally challenging environment.”

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