Henkel AG & Co KGaA HEN
Q3 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 11/16/2012

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Henkel's Investor Analyst Conference in London, St Pancras. Kasper Rorsted and Carsten Knobel will give you an overview on the Q3 results and then we'll take you through the Henkel's new strategy.

Before I hand over to Kasper Rorsted, I would like to make some general remarks. Please note that the conference is live broadcast via Internet, therefore I will kindly ask you to switch off your phones or put to them on mute.

Last but not least, I would like to draw your attention to some emergency instructions. Please be aware that this room has five emergency exits marked in green on this plan. Thank you for your attention and I now will handover to Kasper Rorsted.

Kasper Rorsted - CEO: Thank you very much, (indiscernible). Good morning and welcome everybody here to London again to our third quarter press conference, but of course also speaking about what probably will interest you most, what is the outlook for Henkel for the next four years, but first we'll go very briefly through the third quarter.

The disclaimer I will not go through, but I will take it as read for the entire conference. So I put it here. I assume it's taken as read and that will be how we take it into the records. So I will briefly be speaking about the key developments, Kasper will take us through the third quarter in more detail. Then we'll do in summary and outlook in the Q&A and following the Q&A we'll switch into the outlook for the next four years.

So, overall, the quarter came in slightly below, while expectations on the top line, we saw continued solid growth on our fast moving consumer good side. On Adhesive side, it was slightly below, but I want to be very clear on the following statement. As I've said continuously over the last three years, we're actually managing our portfolio and in order not to sacrifice quality business and high margin business, we refrain from the temptation of taking low margin business in to boost the top line. You can see that falling on the margin. So it was a deliberate path. We are managing our portfolio in Adhesives very actively towards higher margin businesses driven by technology differentiation.

We saw further increase in our gross margin. Our adjusted EBIT margin are at all-time high. We saw a strong Asia Pacific and we saw a China in double-digit growth with our free cash flow significantly improved. On the weakness side, I spoke on the somewhat disappointing top line. We continue to see weakness in Southern Europe, especially impacting our Adhesive business, there is an ongoing not surprisingly trend in the market. We saw our sales growth in Latin America further slowing with a strong Mexico and a weaker Brazil.

How do we translate into numbers? We came in at €4.294 billion, up organically €2.5 million. Reported at 6.6%. The adjusted EBIT margin went up at 150 basis points from €45.7 million to €47.2 million. The adjusted EBIT up 16.7% year-over-year, at €631 million, and our adjusted EBIT margin at €14.7 million, an all-time high, up 130 basis points year-over-year.

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