For multinationals with skincare and personal care brands that straddle the price spectrum from pharmacy to prestige, everyday staples are proving invaluable during the COVID-19 crisis.
Beiersdorf, the maker of Nivea and La Prairie, has reported a global sales drop of 1.9 per cent to 1.91 billion euros (AUD$3.16 billion) for its Q1.
The major casualty was La Prairie.
The luxury skincare brand is heavily dependent on travel retail and department stores.
With air travel severely restricted, sales plummeted 35.8 per cent over the period.
A stark contrast to La Prairie’s strong performance for the full year 2019, which delivered revenue growth of 20 per cent.
Nivea is sold in pharmacies and supermarkets, which have remained open in many countries including Australia during government-mandated closures.
The powerhouse brand’s worldwide sales slipped by only 0.6 per cent during the first quarter.
Beiersdorf’s leading health and derm brands such as Eucerin and Aquaphor also benefited, experiencing a major sales spike of 11.5 per cent.
Europe was a major weak spot, particularly Italy and Spain, which were hard-hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
By contrast, there was increased global demand for essential personal care products such as soap, hand wash and hand cream and a 23 per cent lift in global online sales, said Stefan de Loecker, CEO of Beiersdorf.
“Our foundations are strong. We will march and overcome this unprecedented crisis together,” he added.