Growth in developing markets helped Reckitt Benckiser to what the company called “a strong year” in 2010.

The maker of Cillit Bang, Vanish and Dettol said global sales were up by 6% over the year excluding the addition of SSL, which it acquired in November.

Although sales in Europe were static over the year and up just 3% in North America, the household goods manufacturer notched up growth of 18% in developing markets.

Operating profits were up 13% to £2.13bn, as total revenues rose 9% to £8.45bn. That was despite a modest slowdown in growth in the final quarter of the year, during which sales rose by 5%.

“Reckitt Benckiser enjoyed another year of market-beating results, despite declining global market growth,” said chief executive Bart Becht.

“This is further evidence that our strategy of focusing on our Powerbrands, behind new product initiatives and high levels of marketing investment, is one that continues to deliver.”

Becht predicted that Reckitt would again outperform the market in 2011.

“We are aiming for another year of above industry-average growth,” he said. “For the group excluding SSL, our target is for 4% like-for-like net revenue growth, with profit growth ahead of that. This compares to a global market that is currently showing no growth.”

Reckitt last year paid £2.5bn for SSL, whose brands include Durex condoms and the Scholl range of footcare products.

Read more
Reckitt powers on despite European slowdown (2 November 2010)
Reckitt completes deal for Durex maker SSL (1 November 2010)