Supported by high sales of Nivea Visage and Nivea for Men, sales in China increased 45.1 per cent last year contributing to a 7.6 per cent rise in the company's turnover to €5.5bn. Beiersdorf expects to remain on a high growth path next year and forecasts sales growth of 8 per cent in its Consumer business segment, which contains its beauty brands and represents around 85 per cent of total group sales. Chinese sales focus Further increasing sales in China is at the core of Beiersdorf's plans for the coming year following its acquisition of a majority stake in leading Chinese brand C-Bons Hair Care for €269.5bn. "This investment ideally complements our already successful business in China selling Nivea and Eucerin products, and provides us with an excellent strategic starting position in one of the world's most dynamic and important future markets," said company chairman Thomas-B Quaas. Beiersdorf intends to maximise the potential of its investment in China-based C-Bons Hair Care by investing heavily in marketing over the next few years. China does not however carry the burden of delivering sales growth for the company alone and Russia, Brazil and India have been identified as fellow drivers for growth. Significant growth is expected in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia but growth rates in the lower single figures are expected in Western Europe, North America and Australia. Marketing and innovation In order to achieve sales growth and develop its market share Beiersdorf will continue its global Nivea umbrella brand campaign to further develop consumer trust. Beiersdorf has worked to expand its presence in the global personal care market by promoting its flagship brand Nivea, which launched a global marketing campaign last summer that intends to cover 64 countries by mid-2008. The company is also looking to increase sales by presenting consumers with innovative new products. With this goal in mind the Beiersdorf's expenditure on R&D rose 7.6 per cent to €127m in 2007 and this investment is expected to help the company launch successful new products in the years ahead. Thomas-B Quaas picked out Nivea Visage Oxygen Power as an example of the success of its R&D efforts in delivering sales growth. The oxygen enriched face cream took only two years to develop but has proved to be a hit with consumers.