Colgate-Palmolive's first quarter profit increased to $324.5m from $300m the year before, on sales up 5% at $2.87bn.

The company added that it had hit a record 47% share of the British toothpaste market, and a 26.2% share of the toothbrush market.

Reuben Mark, chairman and chief executive of Colgate-Palmolive also said that he was excited by the number of discount retailers in Europe that were starting to sell branded products.

“We're seeing the hard discounters starting to take individual, best-selling brands. It's the tip of the iceberg but may be very exciting,” he said.