* Q1 adj EBIT up 3.3 pct to 619 mln euros
* Sales down 2.6 pct to 3.929 bln euros
* Confirms full-year outlook
(Adds detail, background, CEO quotes)
FRANKFURT, May 7 German consumer goods group
Henkel posted better than expected first-quarter
earnings, thanks to strong demand from emerging markets for its
washing powders, beauty products and industrial adhesives.
The group confirmed its forecast for the full year, but said
the latest developments in Eastern Europe created additional
uncertainty in the markets.
"This makes it difficult to forecast economic developments
for the year ahead," Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted said.
Russia is Henkel's fourth-largest market with annual sales of
about 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) last year.
Analysts at Kepler Chevreux estimate that Russia and the
Ukraine accounted for 10 percent of Henkel's total sales of 16.4
billion euros last year.
As violence in some parts of Ukraine escalates and western
countries aim to impose further sanctions, companies with assets
in the region fear the consequences for their businesses.
Henkel's first-quarter sales fell 2.6 percent to 3.929
billion euros, mainly because of negative currency effects, the
company said. Excluding currency effects, sales from continued
operations were up 4.3 percent, it said.
"We do not expect the foreign exchange situation to improve
in the short term," Rorsted said.
The depreciation of emerging market currencies has also
weighed on earnings at rival consumer goods groups such as
Procter & Gamble and Beiersdorf.
Henkel's adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT)
increased 3.3 percent in the quarter to 619 million euros.
Analysts polled by Reuters had on average predicted adjusted
EBIT of 601 million euros on sales of 3.95 billion euros.
The group, which makes Persil washing powder and Schwarzkopf
hair products, confirmed its full-year outlook for sales growth
of 3-5 percent, an increase in its EBIT margin to about 15.5
percent and a high single-digit increase in adjusted earnings
per preferred share.
($1 = 0.7177 Euros)
(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Maria Sheahan)