Nivea-maker Beiersdorf says start to year satisfactory

HAMBURG, Germany, April 18 Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:40am EDT

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HAMBURG, Germany, April 18 (Reuters) - Beiersdorf, the maker of Nivea face creams, is satisfied with its start to the year, its chief executive said on Thursday.

"We are satisfied with the first quarter, although uncertainties in China and Europe remain," Stefan Heidenreich told Reuters ahead of a speech to shareholders at the group's annual general meeting.

In his speech, he also confirmed the group's targets for 2013 to improve sales and earnings.

Heidenreich has implemented a turnaround at Beiersdorf, putting the focus squarely back on its core Nivea brand and coming up with new products, such as Nivea Invisible Black & White deodorant, and La Prairie Skin Caviar liquid Lift, in order to win back market share.

He has also said more needs to be done in the United States and China.

Beiersdorf predicts that group sales will outperform the market in 2013, while its margin on earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) will develop positively. It posted an EBIT margin of 12.2 percent in 2012. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Jan Schwartz; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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