Investing in the Future, Despite Economic Challenges

Weleda AG has published its Annual Report and its Sustainability Report for 2022.

Following two years of the pandemic, positive economic development had initially been expected for 2022. However, the 2022 financial year was characterized by a significant increase in inflation and continued economic uncertainty, which led to a noticeable cooling of consumer sentiment for Weleda. This development was also exacerbated by the outbreak of war in Ukraine, which has significantly changed economic and political conditions in Europe and beyond.

Total sales of the Weleda Group decreased last year by 11 million euros, or 2.6%, from 424.8 million euros to 413.8 million euros. The two business areas of natural cosmetics and pharmaceuticals developed differently: while total sales of natural cosmetics fell by around 5% from 343 million euros to 326.4 million euros, sales of pharmaceuticals grew by 7% from 81.8 million euros to 87.4 million euros. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH) continued to account for around half of all total sales but saw a 5.2% decline in sales across both business units in 2022, while other regions (excluding DACH) and France grew by 3.1%.

Weleda logistics campus, front view, functional building. Photo: Michelgroup

In addition to macroeconomic and political factors, restructuring at the French site played an important role in Weleda’s business development. Since April 2023, Weleda has no longer been producing industrially manufactured medicines there, and since the end of March, 129 jobs have been cut.

Despite the economically challenging situation, Weleda continues to invest in the renewal of infrastructure at its sites in Arlesheim (Switzerland) and Schwäbisch Gmünd (Germany). With the launch of the global campaign ‘Save Earth’s Skin’ in 2022, Weleda has been informing people about the importance of healthy soils and their protection and promoting regenerative agriculture projects worldwide.

Inflation is expected to remain high throughout 2023, and consumer sentiment is expected to remain subdued, with growing competitive pressure. For this reason, Weleda will continue to invest in market cultivation, promote innovation, and work to regain market share, especially in the largest markets of Germany and France. In the rest of Europe, the Americas, and Asia, market shares are to be strengthened and further expanded.

Translation Eliza Rozeboom
Source Weleda

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