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Henkel: Reaping rewards of its revamp

By CNN Wire
updated 11:45 AM EST, Fri February 22, 2013
  • Henkel owns brands such as Persil detergent and Schwarzkopf hair products
  • The consumer products group is expanding into emerging markets as a new growth area
  • Its sales have grown by almost 2.5 billion euros after it implemented a new strategy

(CNN) -- What happens when you mix detergent, cosmetics and a bucket load of adhesives? You get a multi-billion dollar German corporation called Henkel.

Henkel is home to a whole host of different brands from Persil washing-powder to hair products such as Schwarzkopf.

And for the versatile Dusseldorf-based consumer group, "diversifying" is not just a strategy, it's a business philosophy.

Speaking with CNN's Richard Quest, Henkel chief Kasper Rorsted says the company's products are the glue that hold everyday goods together, from iPads to sneakers and even aeroplanes.

In 2008, the company implemented a new strategy to turbo-charge the brand. It emerged with a new look and sales have since grown by almost 2.5 billion euros.

"Today we are very well set up. We are running a rate of 14% margin. We have zero debt pretty much and we have put out very aggressive earnings targets set out for the future," Rorsted told CNN.

The company is also expanding its footprint in emerging markets, with more than 40% of their sales coming from the developing world.

Rorsted said Henkel is now looking toward emerging economies as a "primary area" for growth but also sees North America as a market that is "getting back."

He added: "If a company only picks on growth from emerging markets, I think you're leaving opportunities on the side."

CNN's Oliver Joy contributed to this report

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