Dusseldorf (dpa) - Good business with detergents and cleaning agents such as Persil or Bref, but sales slump in the important business with industrial adhesives: The corona crisis also left clear traces on the balance sheet of the consumer goods group Henkel.

The bottom line was that the brand manufacturer's revenues fell by 6 percent to 9.5 billion euros in the first half of the year, as the company announced on Thursday in Düsseldorf. The net result even decreased by 28.7 percent to 776 million euros.

Nevertheless, CEO Carsten Knobel was generally satisfied with how the family-owned company has managed to overcome the crisis so far. «We did not introduce short-time work or applied for government aid in the crisis. And we didn't cut jobs because of the pandemic. In summary, it can be said that we have seen an overall robust business development in an extraordinarily challenging environment », emphasized the manager when presenting the half-year figures in Düsseldorf.

However, the Group's largest division, the adhesives business, suffered greatly from the decline in industrial and automotive production as a result of the crisis. Here, sales fell by 12.2 percent in the first half of the year. In the second quarter, the minus was almost 20 percent. The profit plummeted even more.

Henkel's cosmetics business also suffered from the pandemic. Not least because of the temporary closure of many hairdressing salons, sales and earnings also fell significantly here.

On the other hand, things went much better with detergents and cleaning agents. Here, sales rose by almost 4 percent between January and June. The Pril, Bref, Somat and Persil brands even achieved double-digit growth rates. The business unit benefited from a pandemic-related increase in demand for cleaning agents, Henkel emphasized. However, profits here were also below the previous year's level.

"The breadth of our portfolio in the consumer and industrial business has helped to mitigate the effects of the crisis on our overall sales and earnings development," said Knobel. The manager was cautious when looking to the future. In view of the uncertainties surrounding the further development of the pandemic, Henkel also decided not to make a forecast for the year as a whole when presenting the half-year figures.

Henkel made progress in the crisis of digitizing its business. In the first half of the year, the group recorded a 60 percent increase in digital sales of detergents, cleaning agents and cosmetics. At group level, the share of digital sales in total sales came closer to the mid-ten percent range.

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Henkel semi-annual report