(Corrects in first paragraph to show Henkel’s recent acquisitions were announced last month, not earlier this month)
FRANKFURT, July 5 (Reuters) - German consumer goods group Henkel may make further acquisitions to bolster its portfolio of detergents and hair care products after announcing two deals last month, its finance chief was quoted saying.
“We do not rule out larger takeovers in that area,” Carsten Knobel told German weekly Euro am Sonntag.
Henkel recently struck deals to buy French household cleaner maker Spotless and three U.S. hair care brands, dipping into a 4 billion euro ($5.5 billion) war chest it had been building over several quarters.
Knobel ruled out that Henkel could return some of its excess cash to shareholders, for instance via share buybacks.
“That is currently not an option. Investments in further development of the company, including acquisitions, remain the best way to increase value in the interest of shareholders,” he told the paper.
He also said he expects to see similar negative currency effects in company’s second- and third-quarter results as in the first quarter.
In the first three months of the year, Henkel’s sales fell 2.6 percent to 3.93 billion euros, as currency effects shaved almost 7 percentage points off growth.
“In the short term our ability to offset these negative effects is limited,” Knobel said.
$1 = 0.7331 Euros Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by David Holmes