German giant Henkel is the dominant force in its domestic laundry and homecare sector, with near-50% share, and now also #1 across continental Europe ahead of Procter & Gamble. It controls a vast range of cleaning products, led by laundry detergent Persil - it owns that brand in almost all global markets except the UK - along with Weisser Riese, Spee, Perwoll, Vernel, Sil and others; also dish detergents Pril and Somat and cleaners including Bref, Sidolin, Der General and WC Frisch. It has an extensive presence in neighbouring countries (where products are rebranded as Le Chat, Mir, Dixan and others). More recently it has made in-roads into the US, becoming the local #2 in laundry detergents as a result of acquisitions (see Henkel North America) and also in Australia, where it bought Colgate-Palmolive's laundry portfolio (Cold Power, Dynamo, Fab etc) in 2015. The household division is partnered by a substantial beauty and personal care division, the core of which is provided by haircare specialist Schwarzkopf (brands include Syoss, Poly, Country Colors, Gliss Kur and others). However the business is also active in personal wash (led by the Fa brand), skincare (Diadermine), oral care (Theramed) and deodorants (Right Guard). Sitting alongside these traditional packaged goods operations is a far more specialised business: the world's biggest adhesives manufacturer. Henkel makes more than 3,000 different industrial, consumer and specialist adhesives and sealants, sold in 140 countries. Its consumer brands include Loctite, Pritt, Sellotape and others; professional or industrial adhesives and sealants include Technomelt, Teroson, Pattex, LePage, Unibond and many others. Group revenues topped €20bn for the first time in 2017. Adhesives alone contributed €9.4bn (and Loctite alone over €3bn). Another €6.6bn came from household care (including €1.3bn from Persil) and €3.9bn from beauty (including €2bn from the Schwarzkopf portfolio). Hans von Bylen is group CEO. Though publicly quoted, more than 60% of the group's equity is divided between the descendants of Fritz Henkel, who founded the business in 1878.
Capsule checked 17th December 2018
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Who are the competitors of Henkel? Henkel competes with several other groups including Procter & Gamble and Unilever (in household and personal care), L'Oreal (in personal care), Reckitt Benckiser and SC Johnson (in household care), and Beiersdorf (in personal care and adhesives). See Household Care and Personal Care sector indexes for other companies.
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