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FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - Henkel has already set itself higher annual targets for sales and profitability after the first quarter. This was very well received by investors on Friday, with the shares of the Düsseldorf-based company reaching their highest level since the beginning of 2022 at 79.92 euros, gaining 8 percent and overtaking Beiersdorf shares in the year to date. Henkel's most recent gain was 6.5 percent.

In the consumer sector, things went better than expected in the first quarter, wrote RBC expert James Edwardes Jones in an initial reaction. The fact that the margin target was raised in addition to the sales target is remarkable at this point in time. "It is now clear that profitability is recovering well," said the analyst.

The market estimates for the consumer goods manufacturer's profit are likely to rise in the mid-single-digit percentage range, explained industry expert Olivier Nicolai from Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, Guillaume Delmas from the Swiss bank UBS still needs to clarify whether the new sales outlook is merely the result of additional price promotions or whether it is due to improvements in sales growth.

Henkel's forecasts also helped the European sector index. With a plus of one and a half percent, it was among the favorites in the sector tableau./ag/mis/jha/