WRAPUP 1-Henkel and Beiersdorf bolstered by Russian 'prestige buyers'
* Henkel, Beiersdorf see strong growth in Russia
* Beiersdorf says Russia business better than ever
* Henkel warns weak rouble will still weigh on earnings
By Kirsti Knolle
FRANKFURT, May 7 (Reuters) - German consumer goods makers Henkel and Beiersdorf reported soaring sales for their skin and hair products in Russia on Thursday, as consumers there kept their taste for prestige labels amid an economic crisis.
Henkel, maker of Schwarzkopf shampoo, and Nivea cream maker Beiersdorf had to raise prices in the first quarter to limit the impact of a declining Russian rouble. Nevertheless, Henkel's said Russia sales rose by a double-digit percentage in the three months to end-March, while Beiersdorf said its growth rates were above 20 percent.
"For months we have been expecting that it would get difficult in Russia, but in fact we are doing better than ever," Beiersdorf Chief Executive Stefan Heidenreich said in a conference call.
Russia expects a steep recession this year, caused by low international oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict. But Russians are still spending on consumer products.
"Russians are prestige buyers," said Beiersdorf finance chief Ulrich Schmidt. "They might shy away from buying a new luxury car right now but they are still willing to buy an anti-ageing cream for 10 euros or a deodorant for 3 euros." Continuación...