German consumer goods group Henkel has reported a big drop in sales in its beauty care business, as well as a hit to its adhesives unit, but the company saw a surge in demand for cleaning products.
Henkel said group second-quarter sales fell 11% to €4.6 billion, meeting average analyst forecasts for €4.6 billion, and a decline of 9.4% after stripping out the effect of currencies and acquisitions.
Adjusted operating profit for the first half fell 28% to €1.191 billion.
"The breadth of our portfolio in the consumer and industrial businesses helped us to balance the impact of the crisis on our overall sales and earnings performance," commented Henkel CEO Carsten Knobel.
"In the first six months of 2020, we achieved sales of around €9.5 billion, an operating profit of €1.2 billion and 12.6% EBIT margin. We paid out the full dividend for 2019 to shareholders, and we were able to generate a very strong free cash flow and further improve our net financial position."
Knobel added that during the crisis, the business did not introduce short-time working arrangements, reduce its workforce, nor apply for government aid.
"In summary, we delivered an overall robust performance in an exceptionally challenging environment,” he said.
Henkel, which makes Dial soap and Persil detergent, declined to give an outlook for the full year due to continued uncertainties.