With established markets like Western Europe and North America limping along at low-single digit growth rates, astute multinationals have reworked their expansion plans and are firmly committed to building share in emerging markets such as China and India. In the personal care and household products industry, L’Oréal is leading the charge, with a forward-thinking plan to add two billion consumers during the next several years. Other marketers, including Unilever and Shiseido, have their own strategies to expand their consumer bases, and you can read about all of them in The International Top 30, our annual look at the leading marketers in the household and personal products industry with corporate headquarters outside the US.
For example, Unilever CEO Paul Polman recently admitted to analysts that his company may have gone a bit too far in cost-cutting measures in recent years. Now, the Unilever team is building a strategy that it hopes will garner double-digit gains for the next several years. Meanwhile, after a couple of years of cost-cutting of its own, L’Oréal is growing again, helped along by a 20% surge in sales of luxury products in Asia. As it has since we started The International Top 30 back in 1991, Unilever leads our list, followed by L’Oréal, Reckitt Benckiser, Henkel and Kao to round out our top five.
Companies are ranked according to sales of household, personal care and industrial and institutional products for their most recently concluded fiscal year. Sales are translated from local currency to US dollars using an average exchange rate for the fiscal year reported. For privately-held firms, sales are estimated via a variety of industry sources. Of course, if you are looking for results for US-based companies, be sure to read The Top 50, which is available now online at Happi.com.
As always, we hope you enjoy this edition of The International Top 30, and we welcome your comments and suggestions for new companies on our list.
The International Top 30