Henkel eyes acquisitions in bid to grow sales

FRANKFURT Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:53am EST

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German consumer goods group Henkel said acquisitions will play a key part in its plans to grow sales to 20 billion euros ($25.6 billion) by 2016.

"We would like to accelerate growth via acquisitions," Chief Financial Officer Carsten Knobel told analysts after the group published third quarter results and its strategy for the next four years.

"There is always a possibility to return cash to shareholders but our clear priority is to invest into the growth of business," he said, adding that share buybacks were not currently planned.

Should the group carry out a big acquisition, like that of National Starch for 3.7 billion euros in 2008, then Henkel will adjust its four-year targets, CEO Kasper Rorsted said.

"What is available is guesswork though," he added.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan)

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