January 8, 2018 / 4:43 PM / a year ago

Nivea maker Beiersdorf's 2017 organic growth beats own guidance

FILE PHOTO: Flags of German personal-care company Beiersdorf are pictured at the annual shareholders meeting in Hamburg, Germany April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Beiersdorf (BEIG.DE), the maker of Nivea and other skin care products, posted a 5.7 percent rise in organic group sales in 2017, faster than the 4 to 5 percent gain it had previously forecast, and said it was optimistic for 2018.

Beiersdorf’s organic sales, excluding exchange rate effects as well as the impact of acquisitions and divestments, rose to 7.1 billion euros ($8.5 billion), up from 6.8 billion a year earlier, the German consumer goods maker said on Monday.

The Hamburg-based company cited particular strength at its consumer segment - which includes brands like Nivea, Eucerin, Hansaplast, and La Prairie - and its adhesives unit Tesa.

Beiersdorf has performed strongly against rivals Unilever, the maker of Dove products, and Britain’s Reckitt Benckiser.

“While the global markets are expected to remain volatile and challenging, we have good reason to be cautiously optimistic as we start into 2018,” said Chief Executive Officer Stefan Heidenreich.

RBC Capital Market said in a note to investors that sales surpassed its expectations.

Beiersdorf will announce final figures on March 1.

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Maria Sheahan and David Evans

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