Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

Henkel: With record figures into the 125th business year
Sales up 12.5 percent to 12.8 billion euro
EBIT growth of 10.9 percent to 950 million euro (Part 1 of 4)

Düsseldorf, Germany (ots-PRNewswire) - Net earnings increase of 25 percent to 505 million euro / Dividend proposal: 1.06 euro per ordinary share, 1.12 euro per preferred share Fiscal 2000 was another outstanding year for the Henkel Group. Henkel Group sales increased by 12.5 percent to 12.8 billion euro. Sales in Europe were up 7 percent. Henkel's German companies recorded growth of 5 percent, while the Group companies in the other European countries showed an increase of 8 percent. The businesses in North America increased sales by 17 percent to 2.2 billion euro. In Latin America, sales grew 29 percent to 577 million euro. Sales in Africa rose by 53 percent to 216 million euro. In the Asia/Australia region, sales were up 37 percent to a total of 1.3 billion euro. The increase in operating profit (EBIT) by 10.9 percent to 950 million euro was due to strong sales growth against a cost structure that largely remained unchanged compared with the previous year. The EBIT return on sales amounted to 7.4 percent. At 13.5 percent, the return on investment, i.e. EBIT in percent of net operating assets, was 0.3 percentage points up on the previous year. Net earnings for the year rose by 25 percent to a new record figure of 505 million euro. This made fiscal 2000 the seventh year in sequence to show an increase in net earnings. At 1,159 million euro, cash flow was 7 percent lower than in the previous year. Dividend proposal: The Henkel management will be recommending to the Annual General Meeting on April 30 to increase the dividend to 1.06 euro per ordinary share (1999: 0.87 euro) and to 1.12 euro per preferred share (1999: 0.93 euro). For shareholders fully subject to taxation in Germany who are entitled to the tax credit, the gross distribution - i.e. cash dividend plus tax credit - will total 1.43 euro per ordinary share (1999: 1.24 euro) and 1.52 euro per preferred share (1999: 1.32 euro). The dividend payout is thus equal to 33.5 percent (1999: 36 percent) of the net earnings of the Henkel Group after minority interests. All business sectors markedly increased sales and earnings in the year under review: The Adhesives business sector increased sales by 18.3 percent to 3.0 billion euro. Operating profit (EBIT) improved by 7.9 percent to 256 million euro. Sales of the Cosmetics/Toiletries business sector rose by 11.9 percent to 2.0 billion euro. Operating profit (EBIT) was up 8.8 percent at 134 million euro. Sales recorded at the Laundry & Home Care business sector grew by 10.2 percent to 2.8 billion euro. Operating profit (EBIT) increased by 9.8 percent to 195 million euro. Sales of the Industrial and Institutional Hygiene/Surface Technologies business sector rose 10.3 percent to 2.0 billion euro. Operating profit (EBIT) improved by 18.4 percent to 175 million euro. The Chemical Products business sector (Cognis) increased sales by 12.2 percent to 2.9 billion euro. Operating profit (EBIT) grew by 21.2 percent to 220 million euro. Capital expenditures in fiscal 2000 amounted to 1,359 million euro. Of this total, 693 million euro were invested in intangible assets, 622 million euro in property, plant and equipment and 44 million euro in financial assets. A total of 609 million euro was invested in the established businesses, a substantial increase compared with the previous year (476 million euro). Expenditure on research and development in 2000 increased by 15 percent to 320 million euro. This amounted to 2.5 percent of sales. This rise is mainly due to an intensification of innovation activity in the business sectors and to research cooperations established in the course of the realignment of Henkel's research activities. As an average for the year, around 4,000 employees worked in research, product development and application engineering worldwide. The number of employees in the Henkel Group rose in fiscal 2000 by 4,507 to a total of 60,903. This increase was predominantly due to the integration of acquired companies. The number of employees in Germany grew slightly to 15,878. The proportion of employees working outside Germany rose further to around 74 percent. Outlook: Henkel has set itself a number of ambitious goals for fiscal 2001, which is marked by the motto "125 years. focus:future". Above all, Henkel is keen to maintain and continue its growth dynamics with new, innovative brands and system solutions. The target is again to grow stronger than the markets. On the other hand, Henkel also expects special charges in fiscal 2001. The restructuring charges announced by the associated company The Clorox Company, in which Henkel holds a 26.6 percent interest, will adversely affect Henkel's net earnings by approximately 35 million euro. Henkel is confident to offset these extra costs at least partially with extraordinary income. Henkel will also be affected by the lower than expected earnings in the ongoing business announced by Clorox last Wednesday. Part 2 follows Original-Content von: Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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