Henkel Plans to Continue Outperforming Markets, CEO Tells WamS

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA has managed the effects of the pandemic “fairly well” so far, shown by strong organic growth in the third quarter, Chief Executive Officer Carsten Knobel said.

The company will put more focus on successful brands like Persil washing detergent, Schwarzkopf hair products and Loctite glues, the executive told Welt am Sonntag in an interview. It discontinued or started disposal processes for brands and units worth about 100 million euros ($120 million) in revenue last year, a number that will climb to about 500 million euros by the end of this year.

Henkel Plans to Continue Outperforming Markets, CEO Tells WamS

Those plans are advanced, the executive said, declining to name brands set to go because it would hurt their performance. The company will keep its roughly 50:50 balance of consumer to industrial clients businesses, he said.

Asked if Henkel will follow rival Procter & Gamble Co., which on Jan. 20 raised its forecast, Knobel said P&G is a pure-play consumer goods maker while Henkel is seeing positive effects from the pandemic in areas such as cleaners and detergents but also negative ones in its industrial businesses.

While its hair-care products for professional saloons made good progress in the past 5 to 6 years, narrowing the gap to larger rivals, Henkel is still unhappy with its cleaners and detergents business in the U.S., where it continued to lose market share last year. Turning that trend around will be a key focus in 2021, the manager said.

The auto industry’s shift toward electric vehicles is a chance for Henkel, which currently sells carmakers products worth as much as 100 euros per vehicle built. Glues for lightweight materials, heat dissipation and sensor protection solutions could lift that to 250 euros per battery-electric car in the future, the executive was cited as saying.

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