Beiersdorf shares down on weak profit outlook

BERLIN, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Shares in Nivea maker Beiersdorf fell in early trade on Wednesday after it said it did not expect a recovery in profitability in 2021 even though sales should rise.

Beiersdorf said late on Tuesday that it expects a return to revenue growth for the group as a whole and its consumer business, but an operating margin at the same level as 2020.

Its Tesa adhesives unit should also see a return to sales growth, but its operating margin will fall due to significant investment.

“2021 was meant to be a year of recovery; now we know it is a year of another reset and margins won’t grow from the low levels of 2020,” said Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne. “Our estimates and consensus will have to come down materially.”

Beiersdorf shares were down 3.7% at 0719 GMT.

Beiersdorf said organic sales fell 3.4% in the fourth quarter, with its core Nivea brand recording a decline of 5.4%, although its Eucerin and Aquaphor brands grew sales 5.9% and its premium LaPrairie skincare range grew 21%. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; editing by Thomas Seythal)