SSL Russian venture lifts expectation

THE owner of the Durex and Scholl Footwear brands SSL yesterday said the recent acquisition of Russia’s most popular condom brand has continued to perform ahead of expectations, boosted by strong sales of core consumer brands and continued investment in advertising and promotion.

Despite a difficult trading environment in some countries, the company has seen strong growth in China, Poland, Germany and Hungary in 2009.

Chief executive Gary Watts said: “Both Durex and Scholl continue to perform as expected and the recent acquisitions are growing well. We remain confident of achieving our stated target of increasing earnings per share by 50 per cent over the three years to March 2012.”

The company, the world’s largest condom maker, opened its first condom factory in China in July 2009.
It also owns the Full Marks headlice treatment range, which was recently launched in Europe.

The company also said it recently established a new syndicated loan of £410m to run until June 2013, replacing a previous £220m loan.

Shares in the company rose following the statement before closing up 5p higher at 762.5p.