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, but have been flat ever since. The figure for 2019 was €20.1bn, with net income of €2.1bn. Key factors have been a slowdown in sales of industrial adhesives - the group's single biggest business - and beauty. Adhesives alone contributed €9.5bn (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 stepped down as CEO at the end of 2019, to be succeeded by Carsten Knobel. 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. His great-great-granddaughter Simone Bagel-Trah is chairman of the supervisory board.
Capsule checked 16th October 2020
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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.
Historical profile information for Henkel
Adbrands Daily Update 9th Dec 2020: "GELiked". How about some German hiphop for your Wednesday morning? TBWA Duesseldorf signed up local DJ collective Vibekingz to score this attention-grabbing film for Got2b. In a new example of what we might call Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft, that's the formerly US-based hair gel now owned by German home and personal care giant Henkel. As the girls say, "No dripping, no drops". However the feature that really makes this great little video stand out is the layer of dayglo augmented reality applied by animator Richie Brown. Fabulous!
Adbrands Daily Update 6th Mar 2020: Another year of weak performance have encouraged Henkel to launch a strategic review of its brand portfolio. Revenues have effectively remained flat for three years, at around €20bn. A modest 1% lift this year was generated entirely by exchange rates, as industrial adhesives continued to feel the impact of a slowdown in the auto and electronics industries with a 1.5% organic decline, while the group's haircare and cosmetics business suffered a fall of over 2%. Only the detergents business reported growth. As a result, the group conducted a review of smaller or slower-growing brands in its consumer portfolio. A selection of brands - it did not say which ones - with combined total sales of around €500m will be discontinued or divested by the end of 2021. The group will also seek further acquisitions in core segments.
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