Beiersdorf gives solid outlook but coronavirus impact unsure

BERLIN, March 3 (Reuters) - Nivea-maker Beiersdorf said it expected similar sales growth and profitability in 2020 compared to 2019, although it cautioned that it could not yet assess the impact of the coronavirus on its business.

The German firm said it expected organic sales growth of 3-5% for 2020 after 4.1% in 2019, with its consumer unit forecasting growth at the same level, while the tesa adhesives unit would probably only manage slightly positive growth.

Beiersdorf reported an underlying earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin of 14.5% for 2019 and said it expects 14-14.5% in 2020. Earnings per share for 2019 rose 5% to 3.42 euros ($3.81), ahead of average analyst forecasts for 3.37 euros.

It said the outlook did not include any impact from the coronavirus in China. Beiersdorf makes almost a third of its sales in the Africa/Asia/Australia region. ($1 = 0.8973 euros) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing Christoph Steitz)