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Henkel Still Recovering After US Delivery Problems

Henkel, owner of consumer brands including Persil detergent and Schwarzkopf shampoo, said it is still working to win back shelf space for its products in the United States after being hit by delivery problems early this year.

While Persil and some other brands have since recovered, Henkel lost promotional slots for mid and lower-priced products due to the delivery delays at the start of the year, chief executive Hans van Bylen told journalists on Thursday.

"We are working with full focus to get growth back in this business," he said, after Henkel reported that sales in North America slipped 0.8% in July-September from a year earlier.

Battle For Market Share

The German group is battling US rival Procter & Gamble Co for market share, particularly for detergents and cleaning products after Henkel bought Sun Products, known for its Snuggle brand, for $3.6 billion in 2016.

P&G reported better-than-expected quarterly figures last month, with organic sales up 4%, and said it was raising prices on several products around the world, sending its shares up by their most in a decade.

Performance In Adhesives Unit

Shares in Henkel have fallen 16% in the last year, but were up 3.2% after its results on Thursday, helped by a robust third-quarter performance by its adhesives unit, the maker of Loctite glue.

Organic sales of adhesives, which account for about half of Henkel group sales and include glue for appliances, electronics and packaging, rose 3.8% in the quarter.

Group sales rose 2.7% to €5 billion ($5.7 billion), stripping out acquisitions and the impact from currencies. Earnings per share were up 2.6% to €1.58.

Overall, Henkel's cleaning products and detergents and home care products business reported 2.5% sales growth, while sales of beauty care, which includes the Schwarzkopf brand, rose 0.5%.

Henkel reiterated its 2018 guidance for organic sales growth of 2% - 4% and adjusted EPS to rise by 3% - 6%.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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