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Sh500million to nourish Nivea brand

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 19 – Beiersdorf East Africa (BDF) plans to invest Sh500 million into its popular Nivea brand, due to significant growth in the East African market in recent years.

The company which has experienced a progressive double digit market growth rate since 2006 has projected its growth for this year to be 14 percent.

"We are committed to continuously investing in the communities where we work and have earmarked over Sh500 million in 2011 to be used in upgrading our factory, improving warehousing facilities, consumer investment and empowering our people in the East Africa region," said Mathieu Levasseur, Managing Director of BDF East Africa.

BDF which currently operates in nine countries in East Africa, boasts the leading market share in body lotion in Kenya with 17 percent among other categories, and for this reason Mr Levasseur says the company\’s primary goal is to stay on top.

"The most important thing for us is to be number one. We want to establish the brand to gain, maintain and reinforce our number one position," said Mr Levasseur.

In its quest for a double digit growth for this year, Nivea launched four brand new lotions on Tuesday with its campaign targeting its Kenyan consumers, who account for a large percentage of the East African market.

"Kenya is the most sophisticated market in East Africa, we\’d say by far. Body lotion is the second category after petroleum jelly, and the size of the market in Kenya is Sh169 million," said Mr Levasseur.

The new Nivea moisturizers contain a property that enables the skin to attract and retain moisture.

“HYDRA IQ works with the skin to improve water circulation in dry skin using naturally occurring water channels in the skin to improve moisture levels in skin, and provides 24 hours non-stop moisturisation for all skin types,” said Vara Bansi, Senior Brand Manager at BDF.

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BDF, which invested €149 million (over Sh17 billion) in research and development in 2009, says it will continue to focus on skincare and consumer connectivity, which it credits to its success in the East African region.

"To continue to grow we have a very simple recipe. This is to focus on what we stand for and well known for. I mean skincare. It is our heritage, we are good in that. The second thing is it is important to take it to the consumer, and lastly, investment. Without investment you don\’t have success," said Mr Levasseur.

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