Beiersdorf, the German maker of Nivea hand cream, said Friday that profits fell in 2014 as a result of the difficult market environment, but it remains "cautiously optimistic" for 2015.
Beiersdorf, which also makes Hansaplast plasters and Tesa sticky tape, said in a statement that its net profit amounted to 537 million euros ($614 million) last year, down 1.1 percent from the previous year.
Underlying or operating profit was down 2.9 percent at 796 million euros, while sales grew by 2.3 percent to 6.285 billion euros, the statement said.
"Beiersdorf was successful in 2014. We have achieved a level of stability that leads us to expect further growth even in more difficult political and economic conditions. This makes us cautiously optimistic for 2015," said chief executive Stefan Heidenreich.
He said Beiersdorf expected sales to grow by 3.0-5.0 percent this year.