May 2, 2013 / 6:17 AM / in 4 years

Beiersdorf sales rise as Americas snap up Nivea

FRANKFURT, May 2 (Reuters) - German company Beiersdorf said first-quarter sales rose 3 percent as it managed to sell more of its Nivea face and body lotions to consumers in the United States, Brazil, India and the Middle East.

Under Chief Executive Stefan Heidenreich, the group has focused on its Nivea brand and is concentrating on bringing new products out to win back market share lost over recent years to rivals such as L‘Oreal.

Heidenreich had said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting last month that Beiersdorf had made a satisfactory start to the year.

For the first quarter, the group reported on Thursday sales of 1.58 billion euros ($2.08 billion) and operating profit excluding special items of 215 million.

Analysts had expected profit of 212 million euros on sales of 1.59 billion, according to a Reuters poll.

Beiersdorf confirmed a target for 2013 to grow sales faster than the market and increase its operating margin from the 12.2 percent reported for the end of 2012.

$1 = 0.7580 euros Reporting by Victoria Bryan

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