Henkel is a German consumer goods and chemical company, headquartered in Düsseldorf. With a major presence in consumer and industrial markets, Henkel boasted annual revenues of just over €20 billion in 2021. The same year, Henkel was said to have an employed workforce of 52,450 worldwide. 85% of its employees are now based outside of Germany.
In terms of its consumer-facing operations, Henkel dabbles in three core areas – home care and laundry, adhesives and beauty. Its most popular brands include Persil, Loctite, Pritt and Dial. The premise of Henkel has always been to innovate and market new solutions to the public. Since 28-year-old Friedrich Karl Henkel partnered with two associates in 1876 to sell their sodium silicate-based universal detergent, Henkel has been at the cutting edge of consumer goods.
Investors in Henkel stock in the late 1990s and early 2000s would be sitting on returns of well over 110% as of January 2023. The Henkel share price reached €37.63 by July 2007, which was essentially an all-time high. However, the onset of the global financial crisis and the resulting hit on consumers’ disposable income, saw Henkel shares plunge to €19.61 by March 2009.
Fortunately for long-time Henkel investors, it’s been something of one-way traffic ever since. The price of Henkel stock reached an all-time high of €125.55 in June 2017, around the same time as its expansion into the US and South American hair care markets.
It’s been one-way traffic downwards ever since though. In the last five years to January 2023, the Henkel share price has diminished by almost 41%. The ongoing cost-of-living crisis and inflationary cost pressures are almost certainly playing their part.
There are several companies, like Henkel, which engage in the research and development of innovative, pioneering consumer goods. Johnson & Johnson was founded just ten years after Henkel, but it has become a dominant force in the development and sale of healthcare and beauty products worldwide. This US-headquartered firm has a workforce that’s three times greater than Henkel.
Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble (P&G) is another publicly listed company specialising in consumer care products, as well as cleaning agents and everyday consumer accessories. It’s one of the oldest consumer goods firms, having been established in 1837, long before Henkel. Britain-based Reckitt Benckiser also requires a mention, having been pioneering consumer goods across home, personal hygiene and nutrition markets since 1823.
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