Colgate Palmolive Looks To BRIC Nations For Growth


Nov 23, 2009- Sara Zucker


Colgate Palmolive forecasts its global volume sales to increase between 4% and 7% in 2010. The household megabrand hopes to gain the loyalty of consumers in a number of rapidly developing nations such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China, this grouping of rising, populous contries known by the acronym BRIC.

"We're looking to grow faster in the emerging markets than we do in the developed markets ... the BRIC countries would be obvious areas of growth," said Ian Cook, the company's CEO.

Cook feels that China, India, and Brazil exhibit promising economic vibrancy, perhaps from using the brand's teeth whitening gel? Just a guess. Either way, China stands out as "stronger than other markets," with a positive performance despite today's tough financial climate.

Though hit harder by the recession, Russia's economy is also picking up and is expected to become an important customer base. Colgate is crossing its clean fingers that these areas will deliver annual gains of more than 10%, an estimate based on recent years' growth.

"If you take the product penetration and you take market share, it's not an enormous stretch to see a business going double-digit," Cook said.

Though the megabrand's staple products have traditionally been unaffected by broader changes in the economic landscape, Colgate is taking every precaution to ensure continued stability -- including a potential merger in the near future. Rumors are swirling that the household goods specialist may merge with UK-based Reckitt Benckiser.