2018 at a glance

Henkel presents its financial figures for fiscal 2018 and we look at the topics that inspired us last year.

2018 was another exciting year for Henkel. A year in which we accomplished a lot and paved new paths for the future. We hold leading positions in many markets and categories and strive to offer our customers and consumers worldwide innovations that make life easier, safer and better. This is why we invest, for example, in research and development, in new businesses, efficient production processes, and – of course – in our employees. We take responsibility and want to address global challenges like climate change and the pollution through plastic waste. All this can only be achieved if we are open for change, take advantage of opportunities and continue to further delevop our company.  Experience what inspired us in 2018 and which projects we implemented for a successful future.

Download the Henkel Annual Report 2018

Highlights 2018: Innovation

Innovation is part of our strategy. Henkel holds leading positions in many markets and categories because we continuously further develop and improve our products, services and processes. For example, our industrial adhesives contribute to making vehicles lighter and, at the same time, safer. In order to solve problems with new technologies and products, we consult the needs of our customers and trace societal trends. Therefore, it is important to us to call on many different impulses and always stay one step ahead of the market. 


The future looks lighter

The car of the future will be electric – that much is clear. However, manufacturers still face some major challenges before comprehensive and emissions-free electromobility becomes a reality. Discover how Henkel contributes new, lightweight concepts to enable final breakthrough of electric cars.


Schwarzkopf – celebrating the birthday of a brand icon

With sales of over 2 billion euros, Schwarzkopf is one of Henkel’s biggest and most successful brands. Its strong brand heritage goes all the way back to the chemist Hans Schwarzkopf, who opened a small drugstore in Berlin more than 120 years ago. To mark Schwarzkopf’s anniversary, this passion for hair and individual creativity was at the center of our global campaign #createyourstyle. Find out more in the interview with our brand ambassador Armin Morbach.

Neue Flüssigwaschmittel - mehr Leistung, mehr Nachhaltigkeit

New liquid detergents – better performance, more sustainability

Consumers want to have perfectly clean textiles while preserving the environment. With a new, highly concentrated formula in our liquid detergents of Persil and other brands, we now offer up to 40 percent more stain removal power per drop of laundry detergent. We are also contributing to greater sustainability: We save 120 million liters of water and avoid 3.5 million kilograms of packaging materials each year.


Nature Box – naturally beautiful hair and skin

The new hair and body care brand Nature Box comprises five product lines with 100 percent cold-pressed oils from fruit pips or stones and nuts: avocado, coconut, apricot, almond, and macadamia. The oils are vegan and free from silicone, artificial colors, sulfates and parabens. We also collaborate with international development organizations and support smallholders in the sustainable farming of guar and palm kernel oil.

Highlights 2018: Investments

Investments insure our future. That’s why in 2018, we further built up our product portfolio and expertise. In Düsseldorf, for example, our new global Innovation and Customer Center for Adhesives Technologies is taking shape. With acquisitions in, among others, Canada and Chile, we are strengthening our position in attractive markets worldwide. The opening of a Somat production site in Serbia, a learning center for hair stylists in the USA and a Beauty Care laboratory in Dubai all contribute to broadening our international network.

Making innovation tangible for our customers

Henkel is building a new global Innovation and Customer Center for Adhesive Technologies at its corporate headquarters in Düsseldorf. We will invest more than 130 million euros in a state-of-the-art building with an area of more than 500,000 square feet. The center is due to be completed by 2020. About 350 Henkel experts will develop new technologies for various industries.


New sources of growth

In 2018 we continued to invest in companies with innovative solutions and to acquire new businesses, which strengthen our position in attractive markets worldwide. For example, with JemPak Corporation, Henkel acquired a leading retailer brand manufacturer for laundry and home care products in North America.



Our new innovative learning center in Culver City, California, offers hair stylists hands-on opportunity to engage with the Hair Professional brands of Henkel Beauty Care. The facility features a full-service test salon and color bar, as well as a digital trend lab designed to set the stage for photo shoots or live broadcasts of trainings on social media or television.

Highlights 2018: Responsibility

The economy always has an impact on the environment and society. As a company, we have taken this responsibility seriously since day one and have the ambition to further strengthen our role as pioneer regarding sustainability. That’s why we commit ourselves worldwide and across all business units to resource efficiency and sustainable value creation. One of the most pressing problems is the polluting of nature with plastic waste. At Henkel, we are working on this problem by creating a complete circular economy.

Plastic – a joint responsibility

Plastic everywhere: Plastic is essential to everyday life. Since it went on sale as a mass-manufactured product in the early 1950s, humanity produced 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. The core of the problem is that many countries collect and recycle waste improperly. At the same time, most types of plastic take hundreds of years to biodegrade. This makes establishing a functioning waste and recycling management system for plastic materials even more important.


Empowering women and girls worldwide

Strengthening the self-confidence of girls and women worldwide and offering them new perspectives in everyday life – this kind of "female empowerment" is the mission of the Schwarzkopf Million Chances initiative. For the first time, Schwarzkopf honored four winners of the Million Chances Award on November 7, 2018 in Düsseldorf.


Promoting voluntary engagement at Henkel for 20 years

Two decades ago, Henkel became one of the first companies in Germany to create a program dedicated to supporting its employees and retired workers in their voluntary engagement: the MIT initiative. To mark this anniversary, we donated 50,000 euros to a mother and child medical center in Nepal.

Highlights 2018: Transformation

The future is happening today. Buzzwords like digitalization, artificial intelligence and blockchain are coming to life and influence not only processes, but also corporate culture. Henkel is using these new opportunities to be better, faster and more sustainable. With that in mind, we as a corporation are learning form start-ups and exchange with young founders around the world – because Henkel, too, started small. 

Henkelx serves as a platform for open communication, networking and knowledge exchange.

Digital transformation – no one can do it alone

The digital transformation is one of the biggest changes of our time, and we cannot escape it. Dr. Rahmyn Kress, Chief Digital Officer at Henkel, speaks about the right mindset for change and how we use the platform Henkel X as a network that spans beyond the company.

Konzern trifft Start-up – das Beste aus zwei Welten

Corporate meets start-up – best of both worlds

Young, wild and creative – this is how many corporate managers imagine the typical start-up culture. And they would like to have more of this. Established structures, a big network and financial resources – known turf for big companies and every start-up’s craving. A regular exchange between both types of organizations can provide inspiration, foster entrepreneurial spirit and generate innovations.

Blockchain: Launchpad for a connected future

There are technologies that shake up entire industries, and blockchain is one of them. A decade after the rise of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, the technology on which it is based is about to transform entire areas of the economy within the foreseeable future.

Profitable growth in fiscal 2018

1 Adjusted for one-time changes/gains and restructuring expenses.
2 Proposal to shareholders for the Annual General Meeting on April 8, 2019.