The new chief executive of Nivea skin creams maker Beiersdorf promised strategic steps in 2019 to deliver sustainable growth after reporting slower sales in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Beiersdorf shares, which have fallen 9% in the last year, were indicated up 1% in pre-market trade, outperforming a weaker German blue-chip index.
"We will take further key strategic steps in 2019 to unlock Beiersdorf's future potential and to be able to further deliver sustainable growth," Stefan De Loecker, who took over as CEO on 1 January, said in a statement.
Fourth-quarter sales, excluding currency moves and acquisitions, rose 5.4% to €7.233 billion in 2018, slower than the 6% growth seen in the first nine months, the Hamburg-based company said.
Full-year sales growth at its consumer business slowed to 5% from 5.6% in the first nine months. It saw growth in all its major skincare brands, including Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie.
Its Tesa adhesives unit, which supplies the automotive and electronics industries, saw sales rise 6.8%, down from 7.8% in the first nine months.
Beiersdorf, which is scheduled to report 2018 figures on 27 February, said its operating profit margin will be at the same level as in 2017.