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A year after the cosmetics and medicines producer Weleda posted losses of over eight million euros, the company has stopped the slide and reported a return to profitability.  … 

Weleda returns to profitability

A year after the cosmetics and medicines producer Weleda posted losses of over eight million euros, the company has stopped the slide and reported a return to profitability.

Von: NNA News

Recovered well

Photo: The medicinal plant Citrus medica. Weleda AG, Michael Peuckert The market leader in certified natural cosmetics and anthroposophic medicines said at the presentation of its 2012 annual and sustainability report that the company had “recovered well”. In 2011 Weleda posted a rapidly growing loss of 8.3m euros with “stagnant earnings“ for the second year running. “It has not been an easy year,” the chairman of the company’s board of directors, Paul Mackay, emphasised in the 2012 annual report. “We are therefore all the more pleased that the stabilisation and reorganisation measures have succeeded with our combined efforts after a loss of 8m euros in the previous year.” The group posted a profit of 0.5m euros after taxes in 2012, the company said in a press release. The operating result (EBIT) rose from 1.3m euros to 10.6m euros. Turnover grew by five percent in 2012 to 322.5m euros. A rise in operating cashflow from 1.5m to 33.2m euros and a reduction in financial liabilities by 20m euros demonstrated the improvement in the economic situation, Weleda noted. That has, however, also resulted in job losses. The number of employees fell from 2039 to 1911 fulltime posts worldwide. This had essentially been achieved through natural wastage and, in a small number of cases, redundancies, the company said. CEO Ralph Heinisch said: “We have come to the end of the crisis management phase, the trust of the banks and suppliers has been restored.” Alongside growth in turnover, cost reductions and investment disciplin, a key factor in stabilising the business had been an increase in productivity at all locations, the CEO wrote in the annual report. Here “the commitment and discipline of our staff” had played a crucial role. The natural cosmetics and medicines producer is confident that this positive development will continue. The reorganisation measures undertaken in 2012 would only take full effect on earnings in the 2013 financial year. In the current financial year Weleda expected modest growth in turnover of two percent and a further clear improvements in results. Turnover had risen as expected in the first quarter and lay clearly above the previous year. Newly developed care lotions had driven sales of natural cosmetics in the 2012 financial year, Weleda said. 2013 saw the launch of a new hair care range based on oats, millet and wheat in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France with positive feedback. It had also been possible to strengthen the weak economic position of the medicines through measures to reduce costs and increase efficiency in production and marketing & sales as well as through streamlining the organsiation, according to the press release. A new strategy for medicines was currently being developed with international representatives of anthroposophical doctors. Weleda recently appointed Hans Nijnens as the new project coordinator for its international medicines strategy. His job is to examine various production and sales options and investigate possibilities of collaborating with other manufacturers of anthroposophical medicines. At the same time the brand communication at enterprise level is to be unified for the medicines and natural cosmetics. Weleda also made further progress in sustainability in 2012. Comprehensive data had been collected from all the Weleda companies for the first time, the manufaturer said. This made sustainability at Weleda even more transparent. Among the progress achieved in the financial year was that the share of organic products in raw materials rose from 73 to 77 percent. Weleda’s sustainability strategy comprises seven key fields of action: corporate responsibility, biodiversity, staff support, the frugal use of water, fair trade, sustainable packaging and climate neutrality. Ecological, social and economic goals were to be integrated even further in future. The company has repeatedly won awards for its family friendly policies. The Swiss parent company has its head office in Arlesheim near Basel with a branch in Schwäbisch Gmünd in Germany. The rest of Weleda consists of 18 majority holdings. The company is represented in 50 countries on all continents. END/nna/cva Item: 130614-03EN Date: 14 June 2013   Copyright 2013 News Network Anthroposophy Limited. All rights reserved. 

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