4 Mar 2010 12:59

Henkel sales in Russia rise 12% in 2009

MOSCOW. March 4 (Interfax) - Henkel KgaA, the German maker of cleaning and beauty supplies, increased sales 12% in Russia last year to 32.899 billion rubles (EUR744.9 million), Peter Guenther, president of Henkel Russia, told journalists.

Q1 was weakest for the company, providing only 6.9 billion rubles in sales, while Q3 produced 9 billion and Q4 8.8 billion rubles.

Henkel posted in Russia its best revenue figures for Central and Eastern Europe. Russia accounted for 21.7% of all sales revenue in this region. Henkel invested some EUR17 million in Russia last year.

Henkel hiked prices 1%-2% in Russia in 2009, Guenther said. In a crisis year, the company launched a range of low-priced brands in Russia. "But it can't be said that only low-priced products were successful in Russia in 2009. Premium brands also sold well. Sales of some of them increased more than 20%," he said.

Henkel felt the pinch of raw-materials price rises in Q4 as producers cut back on output in crisis conditions, Guenther said. This affected cleaning and washing supplies particularly.

More expensive raw materials caused Henkel to raise prices again in early 2010 by roughly 2%. "I can't say we won't have to do this again in the second half," he said. The company sees no way to raise product prices in Russia significantly to offset increased materials costs, he said.

More than 30% of Henkel's sales in Russia are usually those of products introduced in the previous three years, Guenther sales.

Henkel owns about 140 companies in various countries. In Russia, it produces cleaning and washing products at OJSC Henkel-Era (Tosno, Leningrad region), OJSC Henkel-Pemos (Perm), and LLC Henkel-Yug (Engels, Saratov region). Henkel Bautechnik (LLC Henkel Bautekhnik in Russia) is one of the world's biggest producers of materials for construction and rebuilding.