April 20, 2017 / 9:04 AM / 9 months ago

Beiersdorf CEO says first months of 2017 affirm cautious optimism

FRANKFURT, April 20 (Reuters) - Business in the first few months of 2017 has affirmed German consumer products group Beiersdorf’s cautious optimism for the full year, Chief Executive Stefan Heidenreich told shareholders on Thursday.

He stuck with guidance for 3 to 4 percent sales growth for this year, with a slight improvement in the margin on earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) from 15 percent in 2016, according to the prepared text of a speech.

Last year, demand for the group’s Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie skincare products helped Beiersdorf overcome a “difficult market” and increase annual sales and profit.

“We do not underestimate the continuing economic and political risks... neither their number nor their intensity is likely to decline this year,” Heidenreich said at the Hamburg-based company’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

“We do not expect any decisive positive impulses for our business from the environment in 2017. But we rely on our own strength,” he added. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan)

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